MHG2666 - Hut circle settlement - Breakachy Burn

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE SETTLEMENT (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • SOUTERRAIN? (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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.
RCAHMS 1979

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. The others were described as follows:
Hut B - [NH 45453 45379] The walls were only partially identifiable and were best preserved in the SW quadrant where they are spread to 2.3m and stand to 0.2m in height. The hut was deeply embedded in heather and was only just visible. The general shape was oval and it abouts hut C on the southern edge. The internal diameter across the longest NNW axis measured 10.1m x 7.6m. The external diameter measured 12.7m x 10.9m. There was a possible entrance to the south east.
Hut C - [NH 45459 45367] The walls were only partially identifiable and were best preserved on the eastern, upslope, side, where they were spread to 2.5m and stood to 0.2m in height. Again, this hut was deeply embedded in heather and was only just visible. The general shape was oval and it abuts hut B on its northern edge. The internal diameter across the longest N axis measured 10.8m x 8.1m. The external diameter measured 14.2m x 12.5m. There was a possible entrance to the south.
Hut D - [NH 45507 45451] The walls were indistinct in the south west and best seen in the east where they are spread to 1.5m and stand to 0.5m in height. Located on a gentle west facing slope, at the base of a mound to the north lies this large hut circle, with an ellipse of stone wall to the west, ie down-slope. In the original 1970 survey this is described as a souterrain, confirmed by a further OS visit in 1981. What remains of this structure is an ellipse of stones, approx 3.5-4m outwith the western side of the original hut circle. They now don't look like a souterrain, although their function is now unclear. There is a path, probably animal track, that runs through the northern part of the circle, exposing the base. The general shape is circular. The internal diameter measured 7.5m x 6.7m. The external diameter measured 10.6m x 10.2m. There was a possible entrance to the SSE.
Hut E - [NH 45601 45501] The remaining walls are best seen to the west where the remains are 1.4m thick and stand 0.3m high. Located on a gentle east facing slope, it occupies a slight knoll with a built extension to the south. The recent burning had exposed a degenerated circle of stones that could other wise have been missed. The general shape was circular. The internal diameter measured 4.7m x 4.1m. The external diamteter measured 7.5m x 7.5m. An entrance was not identifiable.
Hut F - [NH 45595 45562] The remaining circular walls are indistinct apart from in the west and south east quadrants. Located on a gentle south facing slope, it has a definite entrance and entrance passageway consisting of two lines of rough large stones to the south which measured 1.3m in length, 1.5m in width and with stones standing 0.8m in height. The recent heather burning had exposed a degenerate circle that would otherwise have been missed. The general shape was circular. The internal diameter measured 7.3m x 9.75m on the north-south axis. The internal diameter measured 9.98m x 11.05m.
Hut G - [NH 45624 45556] The remaining, indistinct walls were marked by periodic stones. The wall was best seen in the west where it was spread to 1.8m and stood up to 0.5m in height. Located on a gentle south facing slope, it stands on a platform slightly built out in the south. There was an eliptical extension, or 'annexe' on the north west arc. The recent heather burning had exposed a degenerate circle of stones that would otherwise have been missed. The general shape was circular and there was a possible entrance in the south south east. The internal diameter was 9.0m x 9.0m. The external diameter measured 13.2m x 12.8m.
Hut H - [NH 45664 45540] The remaining walls were very indistinct with very few stones left and one large boulder in the south south west. The hut circle was very indistinct and only visible as a round depression in the peat rather than being easily identifiable by its walls. The recent heather burning had made it easier to see. The general shape was circular and there was a possible entrance in the south. The internal diameter measured 7.5m x 7.5m. The external diameter measured 9.0m x 9.0m. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NH 4551 4553 (446m by 452m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH44NE
Civil Parish KILMORACK
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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