MHG39431 - Field System - Turnal Burn


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • LYNCHET (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • CLEARANCE CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Situated on rising ground are the remains of three large conjoined enclosures.
'A' measures 10.3m in diameter and is formed by a strong earth-and-stone bank some 3m broad and 1m high, and is scooped into the slope on N side. The entrance, 0.9m wide, is in the SE. There is evidence of internal structures, too obscured by bracken etc for survey.
'B' abuts on to the E side of 'A'. It measures 14m in diameter and is formed by a similar strong bank, and is also scooped into the slope on N side. No obvious entrance was noted. Inside this enclosure is a small earth-and-stone mound 3m in diameter and 0.7m high; there is also evidence of other internal structures too obscured by bracken etc for survey.
A slight earth-and-stone bank forms a semicircular compartment, 4m E-W, which abuts on to S side; another earth-and-stone bank extends SE from the enclosure to terminate in a small rectangular enclosure, measuring 4 by 3m.
'C' abuts on to the S side of 'A' and measures 15m in diameter. Its construction is similar to the others; its entrance, 0.7m wide, is in NE. No internal features were noted. An earth-and-stone bank extends from the entrance of 'A' to join the bank of 'C' just below its entrance.
There are traces of an oval enclosure a short distance SW of 'C'. Visited by OS (W D J) 15 June 1960.

(ND 0965 2253) Enclosures (NR) OS 6" map, (1964)

The three 'enclosures' discovered by F1 are three contiguous massive hut circles of Kilphedir II type (see NC91NE 25), now overgrown with bracken. They are set into a gentle SE-facing slope on the edge of an associated field system.
Hut circle 'A' is 7.5m in diameter within a wall, 1m high, generally spread to 2.5m broadening to 3m at entrance, in SE. The entrance passage is defined by slabs on edge 0.8m apart. The inner wall face of boulders is visible intermittently. There is much stone debris within the hut suggestive of internal structures but no pattern is discernible.
'B' is 12m E-W by 10.5m transversely within a wall similar to that of 'A'. Again, much stone in the interior may indicate subdivisions, and there is a prominent mound of stones near the centre. There is no trace of an entrance.
'C' is the best preserved, 13.5m in diameter within a wall 1.3m in maximum height, spread to 2.5m. The inner wall face is exposed intermittently; at one point the face is 1.1m high, formed by large boulders, with rubble stones wedged in the interstices. The entrance is in S where the wall thickness is 3.5m. There is much debris in the interior.
The various low walls and platforms around the hut circles are as planned by the previous OS field surveyor, and appear broadly contemporary; the absence of an entrance in 'B' and the upstanding nature of the structures may indicate re-use of the site at a much later date.
The associated field system occupies four hectares of a SE-facing slope and comprises scattered clearance heaps and some traces of lynchets and field walls.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (N K B) 16 November 1982.

The GIS spatial datya was amended in 2018 according to the depiction on the old SMR 1:10,000 map. <1>

A gently curving stretch of bank, extending downhill for about 100m was recorded to S of the hut-circles during a pre-afforestation survey by Headland Archaeology (NMRS MS 899/93, no.17). The bank is probably part of the field-system associated with the hut-circles.
C Moloney and L Baker (Headland Archaeology) 13 July 1998; NMRS MS 899/93, no.17

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 0966 2254 (212m by 120m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND02SE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.