MHG39405 - Hut circle and enclosure - Achins


A hut circle and enclosure at Achins. Recorded by the OS as Homestead 'C'.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle and enclosure at Achins. Recorded by the OS as Hut Circle 'C'. Previously classified by the OS as a 'homestead'.

Centred at NC 960 636 there is a large enclosure formed by a heather-covered earth-and-stone bank 0.3m high and measuring 170m N-S by 62m transversely; 38m SW of the enclosure there is a hut circle, with heather-covered walling measuring 0.3m high, about 7m in diameter. The entrance, 1.4m wide, is in the SW.
(OSFI JLD: 24.5.1960)

About 100m SE of this is another hut circle, 7.0m in diameter, with a mutilated bank 0.3m high.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
There is now no trace of the enclosure and hut circle noted in 1960, 50m N of the latter hut circle.
Visited by OS (R D) 26 November 1964 and (J L D) 24 May 1960; Visible 106G/Scot/UK 75: 4360-1 (flown 1946)

(A: NC 9601 6352 B: NC 9608 6345 C: NC 9607 6350) Hut Circles (NR) (NC 960 636 Enclosures (NR)
OS 6"map, (1963)

Two hut circles (A and B), a homestead (C), and two adjacent enclosures. 'A', on a slight rise, measures aproximately 9.5m in diameter over a heather-covered wall spread at most pronounced, in the E half, 2m broad by 0.3m high; the entrance is no longer evident.
'B' measures about 6m diameter internally; the wall has practically disappeared in the WNW half, and elsewhere is reduced to a peat and heather-covered spread of 1.5m by 0.2m high. The entrance is no longer evident.
'C': Contrary to the last statement by previous OS field surveyor (RD), the hut circle and enclosures do exist as a homestead, comprising a hut circle within an oval enclosure. The hut measures some 11.5m diameter over a wall reduced to a peat-covered, obscure spread; the entrance is no longer evident. The enclosure measures an estimated 47m N-S by 39m transversely. Its wall has been destroyed in the S, but presumably had skirted the N foot of the knoll at that point; elsewhere the wall is discernible as a slight, heather and peat-covered ridge with occasional stone protruding. A definite break, 3m wide, in the line of the enclosure wall in the WNW suggests an entrance.
The two adjacent enclosures mainly encompass the rocky summit area of a N-S ridge, contrasting with the open moorland plain occupied by the hut circles and the homestead. The enclosures measure approximately 80m N-S by 65m and 90m N-S by 55m; their heather-overgrown walling generally exhibits coursed small to medium stone. The southern of the two enclosures extends from the ridge on to the moorland plain, and in the S salient incorporates the S half of a boat-shaped structure 19m along the main axis (E-W) by 9m transversely within a heather-covered wall spread 2m broad on average and up to 0.3m high. Inside the E end of the structure is a heather-covered stony mound of uncertain mound of uncertain purpose, 3.0m in diameter by 0.5m high. Some 10m to the N is a stone clearance heap. The enclosures and the boat-shaped structure are undoubtedly contemporary.
In conclusion, a much later date is suggested for the two northernmost enclosures and the attendant structure, but which period remains conjectural.
Revised at 1:10560. Visited by OS (J M) 17 November 1981.

This and related records for other enclosures and hut circles in the vicinity were completely re-organised in what was the Highland SMR as compared with the original OS records (see attached old SMR record card for the concordance). However, it is quite clear that the original OS records notation should have been retained as the re-organisation has introduced quite unnecessary confusion and duplication. As such the original OS notations and spatial depictions have been re-instated. IS-L 20/11/2018

There is nothing visible of this site on any available vertical APs. GIS spatial data amended in 2018 according to approximate position as drawn from geo-rectified original OS plan on old SMR Record Card. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 9608 6350 (39m by 44m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC96SE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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