MHG29223 - Pits - Achnacly


Pits of unknown function at Achnacly, near Broubster.

Type and Period (2)

  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • QUARRY SCOOP? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Pits of unknown function at Achnacly, near Broubster.

The pits were recorded during a walkover survey by J Wordsworth in 2000 in advance of a propsed tree planting scheme. To the SE of a modern sheepfold are a series small pits up to 2m long by 1m wide and set below ground to a depth of 1m. They are restricted to the S & SE of the sheepfold to a maximum distance of 40m. The features are all without evident walling with irregular stones visible on the sides of the pits. 25m to the S of this is a further concentration of small irregular pits covering an area c30m in diameter. This group is concentrated at the SE end of a natural ravine. Some of them have been partially infilled with rubbish. Interpretation: Superficially the first group of pits form an arc of chambers reminiscent of the cellular buildings sometimes attached to brochs. However, the lack of walling and the fact that all the pits are below ground and cut through stony deposits, suggests they were dug as quarry pits to extract stones. It is tempting, in view of the site's proximity to Monadh nan Cam and indeed several other cairns in the vicinity, to suggest that the stone was part of an earlier burial monument. This seems unlikely as it does not form a distinct mound. <1>

The pits are visible in LiDAR data gathered by AOC Archaeology in 2011 as part of the mitigation for the visual impact on the archaeological landscape associated with the proposed Baillie Hill windfarm, Caithness. However, they were not identified or recorded in the original data analysis. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0509 5870 (39m by 96m)
Map sheet ND05NE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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