MHG40500 - Achaidh Mhoir

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Enclosure (NR) (A: NC 5806 0254) Hut Circle (NR) (B: NC 5798 0249) Enclosure and Hut Circle (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1970)

Beyond Lairg Station on the E side of the road to Bonar-Bridge, immediately above it, and in the birch wood, is a group of a dozen small mounds and the remains of a hut circle. About 300 yards further S is another group of about fourteen mounds, and a well- preserved hut circle; abutting on the hut exterior in the S is a smaller broken-down enclosure. About 100 yards E of the last hut is another hut circle and three mounds adjacent to it.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

Four hut circles, and probable field clearance heaps, found during field investigation.
Visited by OS (R D L) 29 June 1963.

Of the four hut circles and enclosures noted by the previous field investigator, and published on OS 1:10 000 map, (1970), only two (A and B) are in fact huts. The published enclosure at NC 5799 0270 seems to be a fortuitous arrangement of a curving stony lynchet and a stone clearance heap. The smaller enclosure abutting hut 'B' appears to be a stone clearance heap about 8.0m in diameter, whose centre has been robbed.
The huts (A and B) occur within an associated field system on the lower west-facing slopes of Cnoc an Achaidh Mhoir.
'A' is 8.0m internal diameter within a denuded, peat-covered wall, 1.2m estimated breadth. An outer facing of large contiguous stones on edge occurs at the simple entrance in the SE arc.
Hut 'B', similar but better-preserved, is 11.0m internal diameter within a wall of 1.5m estimated width and 0.5m average height. The wall broadens to about 2.2m at the west side of the entrance in the SSE. In the NW arc, the wall has been dug into.
The field system occupies six hectares of moorland. It comprises mainly stone clearance heaps with occasional lynchets and field walls; a few irregularly-shaped cultivation plots are discernible, average size 35.0m by 15.0m. Later cultivation encroaches on the west side of the system. Revised at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (J M) 27 July 1976.

NC 580 024 and NC 579 027 As part of the continuing programme of work in advance of the A836 road improvement scheme, archaeological fieldwork was undertaken by AOC (Scotland) Ltd within two scheduled areas to assess the nature and extent of monuments directly affected by road construction. Five trenches were opened within the two scheduled areas:
Lairg Scheduled Area 1: Area 1.1 The area deturfed measured 10m by 37m and was centred on two large cairns identified in the 1988 Lairg Survey. At the upslope end, the trench contained traces of narrow-, or cord-rig with an average inter rig spacing of 1.2m. The two cairns were situated on the downslope edge of the rigged ground and marked the transition from freely draining land to an area of impeded drainage.
Area 1.2 was located between Sites 867 and 907 and examined the nature of an earthen bank (Site 866, 1988 survey) which forms the perimeter to a large enclosure. The bank consisted of peat built upon the local peaty topsoil. Documentary sources suggest a late AD 17th century date for its construction.
Lairg Scheduled Area 2: Three seperate small trenches were opened. Area 2.1 examined the intersection between the road-line and an area of broad rig identified from aerial photography and from 18th century map evidence.
Area 2.2 was a 1m wide trench located across a long rectangular structure (Site 966, 1988 survey).
Area 2.3 examined one cairn (Site 1002, 1988 survey) and its immediate environs at the northern end of the scheduled area.
Area 2.1 contained no archaeological entities except for very slight traces of broad rig.
Area 2.2 demonstrated that, contrary to the findings of excavation in 1991 of a similar structure, the turf walls had stood for some time after abandonment. Re-examination of the immediate vicinity identified an adjacent earlier house stance and a corn-drying kiln.
Area 2.3 the excavated cairn was shown to be the product of successive episodes of tillage. The earliest identified phase contained charcoal and minute sherds of coarse pottery. The latter has been recognised within previous excavations at Lairg to date from the 3rd millennium BC. At a relatively late phase a burial, consisting of cremated human bone, was inserted into the accumulated cairn.
Sponsors: Historic Scotland, Highland Regional Council.
A Duffy 1995.

NC 5805 0251 The final phase of the watching brief on the A836 road improvements was undertaken in advance of the insertion of a drainage ditch alongside the newly constructed roadline. In the spring of 1996, sub-surface features were exposed which might pre-date the adjacent upstanding Bronze Age monuments. A substantial assemblage of probably Neolithic pottery was retrieved from one feature that was breached by the roadworks. The new drain threatened to pass within 4m of these features and consequently the relevant segment of the drain line was hand-excavated in advance.
The 17 x 1m ditch revealed a series of features and sediments that, although not open to unequivocal interpretation, were probably part of the same horizon as that seen in 1996. In plan, the key feature was an extensive spread of angular rubble beneath which were numerous shallow but seemingly truncated pits and possible gullies. The narrow confines of the trench precluded any precise definition of the form and pattern of the features, but they probably represented some form of structure.
A chert blade tool, from the base of the topsoil, was the only artefact recovered. Small assemblages of charcoal suitable for radiocarbon dating were also recovered.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
G Robins 1997


RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 21-2, No. 56; plan fig. 6 (Text/Report). SHG2657.


Duffy, A, 1995, 'Lairg Scheduled Areas (Lairg parish), multi- phase cultivation monuments and cremation cemetery', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1995, p.48, 48 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1022.


Turner, R (ed), 1997, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1997, p 49 (Text/Publication/Serial). SHG4.

Sources/Archives (3)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NC 5801 0251 (30m by 30m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC50SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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