MHG380 - Homestead, Borgue Langwell


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Type and Period (1)

  • HOMESTEAD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Wag (NR) OS 6" map, (1964)

'On the S side of the Langwell Water, some 200 yds NW of the ruins of 'Burg Langwell' (ND12SW 1)... are the remains of a galleried structure. It is formed with two distinct enclosures. On N is a circular area measuring interiorly some 27ft, enclosed by a wall about 6ft in thickness and entered from the outside at the NW. In the thickness of the wall on the W side is a curved recess, some 6ft in length by 2ft in breadth. Bounding the entrance on the left is a cairn-like mound formed of large stones considerably intermixed with soil, and probably formed from the excavated material of the second enclosure, measuring 20ft in diameter and some 3ft 6ins in elevation.
Adjoining the above enclosure on E is an oblong structure whose outer wall curves round at N to meet the cairn on its side opposite the entrance to the circle. It measures interiorly some 48ft in length by from 13-14ft in breadth, and has been divided into two divisions at 28ft from the SW end by a wall through which there is a doorway 3ft wide. In the inner division so formed have been three upright stone pillars along each side, one of which has fallen, 5 to 6ft in height, 6ft apart, and varying from 2ft 3ins to 4ft 7ins in distance from the side walls. These have supported the outer ends of massive slabs, of which one only now remains in situ.
This structure has been partially excavated. The floor at the back or inner end was found to lie some 4 to 5ft below the surrounding level, while at the opposite end it was sunk about 2ft.
There were found on excavation the upper portion of a rotary quern, also a saddle quern in situ on the floor with the rubbing stone which had been used upon it. One small piece of iron greatly corroded also came from the floor level, but no pottery was discovered.'
A O Curle 1912; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1911.

This site is as described above. Five orthostats still remain erect, one at SW end retaining a large lintel stone in situ. Others lie around. Visited by OS (J L D) 14 June 1960.

A 'wag' or homestead. No change to the report by previous OS surveyor.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R L) 29 February 1968.

(ND 1016 2191) Homestead (NR) OS 25" map, (1969).

A homestead, comprising an oblong aisled-house and subsidiary enclosure, generally as described and planned by RCAHMS. Only four upright stones survive in situ, including one still bearing a lintel slab. The recess in the subsidiary enclosure is similar to some entrances to souterrains commonly found in hut circles.
Visited by OS (J M) 23 November 1983.

A turf and earth bank lying immediately NE of homestead (which has the appearance of a souterrain with associated hut-circle) was recorded by Headland Archaeology (NMRS MS899/93, no.9). It is about 2m wide and 1m high.
C Moloney and L Baker (Headland Archaeology) 13 July 1998; NMRS MS 899/93, no.9

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 68, No. 250; plan, sections (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Curle, A O, 1912, 'Excavation of a galleried structure at Langwell, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 46 1911-12, p.77-89, 77-89 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG730.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1015 2191 (70m by 70m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND12SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (4)

  • SADDLE QUERN (Undated)
  • ROTARY QUERN (Undated)
  • GRAIN RUBBER (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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