MHG29959 - Shielings - Loch Barabhaig C


A group of 4 turf structures were identified during a pre-afforestation survey, with more discovered in subsequent work.

Type and Period (2)

  • SHIELING SETTLEMENT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Loch Barabhaig WGS Survey site 15
JW 4/5/2001

A group of 4 slight turf built structures were recorded here during a pre-afforestation survey by Wordsworth Archaeological Services in 2000. They were set on a slightly sheltered ridge facing to the SE. They only survived as slight hollows and were badly infested with bracken. They were probably the remains of circular shieling huts, though there is an area of rig cultivation centred 150m to the SE. They wer 3-4 in diameter.
It was recommended that these structure should be left as a single unplanted group with a 20m external buffer. <1>

This shieling site comprises at least nine sheiling huts lying on a high grassy terrace, c400m N of Loch Barabhaig and c500m NE of Loch an Ime. Some of the buildings are very prominent, with walls of turf and stone standing up to 0.4m high, whilst others are less well defined. Tree planting has occurred very close to the N of the site and this may have destroyed further buildings. The internal sizes range from the smallest at 2.6m x 1.5m to the largest at 4m x 3.5. Three of the huts are built up against a bank, with one using a ground-fast stone and built stone to create a partially stone gable/corner. Where discernible, most doorways face E and look out over the Sound of Sleat, except one double-celled hut, whose doorways face approximately N, and a smaller and more clearly defined hut whose doorways faces ENE. The proximity to Loch an Ime (the loch of butter) appears to confirm that these were sheiling huts, and suggests that the loch was used for storage of the butter which was produced during the summer months. Alexander Forbes’ Place-names of Skye’ (1923) records that local stories told of two leather kegs of butter being found in the loch.
Information from SRP Camuscross, August 2011. <2>

The structures do not appear on the 1st or the 2nd edition OS maps.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 6843 1046 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG61SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish SLEAT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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