MHG2666 - Hut circle (A) - Breakachy Burn, Urchany
Hut circle at Breakachy Burn, Urchany
Type and Period (1)
- HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
- None recorded
A hut circle at Breakachy Burn, recorded originally by the OS as hut circle A.
Depop., cairns, etc.
OS 6"map annotated by A L F Rivet (nd)
Centred at NH 455 455 is a settlement of ten stone-walled huts and a field system.
Hut 'E' is circular, the remainder are oval. Except for 'A', 'G' and 'H' the measurements are given between wall centres.
Hut 'A', set into a SW-facing slope, is visible as a platform measuring about 12.0 m NNW-SSE by 10.0 m trans- versely, bounded by a stony build-up round the SW arc and a back scarp. The entrance is in the SSE at the change of slope.
'B', set into a W-facing slope, measures about 10.5 m NW- SE by 9.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m. The 'simple' entrance is in the SE, at the change of slope.
'C', adjacent to 'B', measures about 12.5 m N-S by 10.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m all round. The outer wall face is visible round the E arc. The 'simple' entrance, about 1.0 m wide, is in the S, at the change of slope.
'D', at the base of a knoll, measures about 10.0 m from the NNW
through the 'simple' entrance in the SSE by about 9.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m all round. The outer wall face is visible round the S arc. Attached to the W arc of the hut and following the curve of the wall of the hut is an elongated enclosure measuring approximately 10.0 m long by 2.5 m wide within a stone wall spread to about 1.5 m. There is no apparent entrance. It is similar in appearance to the 'souterrains' described on NJ 40 SW 3. (See 1:250 plan.)
'E', built up on a S-facing slope, measures about 6.5 m in diameter with the wall spread to about 2.0 m. The entrance is not apparent.
'G' has the outer wall face visible round most of the perimeter giving overall measurements of 13.5 m NNW-SSE by 12.0 m transversely. The wall is spread to about 2.0 m all round. The S arc has been robbed and the entrance is not apparent.
'H' has the inner wall face evident round most of the perimeter giving internal measurements of 10.0 m NNW-SSE by about 8.0 m transversely. The wall is spread to an indeterminate thickness. The entrance is not apparent.
'J' is denuded and measures about 9.0 m NW-SE by 8.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.0 m all round. The entrance is not apparent.
'K', set into an E-facing slope, measures about 13.5 m N-S by about 11.5 m transversely with the wall spread to some 2.5 m all round. Stone clearance has been piled over the W arc. The 'simple' entrance, about 1.3 m wide, is in the S at the change of slope.
About 15 m NE of hut 'K' is a circular hollow, about 6.0 m in diameter, with traces of walling round the edge. Stone clearance has been piled within.
The field system, partly overlaid by a depopulated steading, is marked by stone clearance heaps, lynchets and walls forming fields varying in size from about 15 m by 10 m to about 50 m by 30 m.
Divorced survey at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (R L) 17 March 1970
(Name: NH 4555 4550) Settlement & Field System (NR)
OS 1/10,000map, (1975)
This unenclosed settlement comprises the remains of four oval stone-walled houses and two scarped platforms which may represent the sites of timber houses. In the vicinity there are several other platforms of unknown function and also extensive remains of stone clearance, some of which may be of relatively recent date.
The suggested enclosure attached to hut circle 'D;, at NH 4550 4545 is almost certainly the line of a collapsed souterrain. Otherwise, the hut circles and field system are as described by OS surveyor.
Visited by OS (J M) 11 February 1981
This site was visited multiple times by R Spencer-Jones of NOSAS between March and June 2013. All but three of the hut circles were identifiable due to heather burning at the site (for grouse) which had made the majority of hut circles more visible. The three that were unlocated were A, J and K. <1>
The North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NoSAS) undertook an archaeological survey of Urchany in 2015 and successfully located Hut Circle 'A'*.
Site H57; Hut Circle (A). This is the most westerly of the hut circles identified by the OS in 1970. It had just had its’ heather cover burnt off revealing a quite degenerate double-skinned structure comprising medium-sized stones, 10.7m diameter. This occupies a large platform, built into and out from the west facing slope. There is no obvious entrance. <2>
NGR adjusted based on 2009 aerial photographs. <2>
*(Note; the location of 'Hut Circle A' was previously thought to be a large revetted platform 25 metres to the west with a diameter of 15 metres - see MHG62133. T.Blackie 20/10/20).
- --- Text/Report: RCAHMS. 1979. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North-east Inverness, Inverness District, Highland Region. . 20, No. 130.
- <1> Dataset/Database File: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2013. Information on Hut Circles at Allt na Criche or Creag Dubh. North of Scotland Archaeological Society. Yes. Digital.
- <2> Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2020. A NoSAS Survey of the Lands of Urchany: A Multi-period Settlement on the Braes West of Beauly: 6th-10th April 2015. North of Scotland Archaeological Society. Digital. p.21, Site H57, Figures 31-34. XY
- <3> Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph/Vertical: Get Mapping. 2009. Getmapping aerial photography 2009.
|Grid reference||Centred NH 4536 4551 (12m by 12m) (Buffered by site type)|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Investigations/Events (1)
External Links (1)
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/12356 (View HES Canmore entry for this site)
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