MHG45022 - Hut circle - Allt Garbh (Clais nan Cruineachd)


A hut circle at Allt Garbh (Clais nan Cruineachd).

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle at Allt Garbh (Clais nan Cruineachd). Previously recorded as an enclosure.

"On the bounds of Clachtoll Farm (3 miles directly inland from that shore) there is a prodigious pile of huge stones close by a great rock, having an entry through two half moons; next appears an entry by porch." The entrance was too full of stones and earth to admit a man but a boy who was able to do so reported that there were several passages off the large room into which he entered and that he thought that these led to different chambers. The ruin is called "Ty-tal-vine-na-druinich" OSA 1795.

NC 065 279. At the foot of a cliff, a drystone lined "cave", at very foot of a rock-pile, has its entrance extended and partly concealed by a ruinous circular enclosure, forming a 2m passage covered by a large slab. The enclosure measures 6m in diameter, within a 2m thick wall of large stones. There is a further wall across entrance to enclosure. In the roof of the "cave" there is a vent upwards through rock-pile, with below it, what may be a simple hearth. The cave measures c4m by 3m oval, and has appearance of having been a dwelling. E W MacKie 1967.

At NC 0660 2800 is a natural chamber in rocks, entrance to which has been restricted by a dry-stone walled lintelled passage 2m long. The chamber itself measures 3m x 2m x 1.5m high and has one other smaller cavity branching off from rear. There is no trace of hearth seen by Welsh. The entrance has been deliberately built to conceal chamber. The "foreworks" consist of poorly preserved stone-walled enclosure c10m diameter from which another even less well-preserved wall runs off to W. Within this enclosure are the fragmentary remains of what may have been a shieling or similar structure. A later wall, now ruined, joins NE arc of enclosure. The date of the structure is conjectural but probably late medieval or later. Visited by OS (J M) 6 August 1974.

Site recorded by T.C. Welsh as an enclosure associated with a cave, in 1971. <1>

Recorded in survey by Dr Thomas C. Welsh, Sept. 1998. <2>

206612 927982 IB001 Druids Cave 1: The hut circle was visited by A Welti, G Sleight and E Blackburn in 2013 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. This circular stone structure is in fair condition, having been much modified. It sits on a moderate west facing slope at the base of a cliff which shelters it from the East. Wall facings and the ring banking are visible. The structure is inside an enclosure; a field dyke running E/W overlies and utilises the outer face of the N quadrant which currently has a tendency to lean inwards. An enigmatic arc of stones running to the west joins the HC wall at the northern edge of a possible west facing entrance (see sketch). A shieling inside the HC has utilised much of its stone walling. A small pen is built into the HC wall at the south side of the possible entrance. The surrounding landscape is covered with a mixture of heather, grass and bracken. Inside the structure the cover is mostly bracken with some grass. The site is 300m from a stream, 800m from freshwater Loch na Uidhe Doimhne and 4000m from the sea and Bay of Clachtoll. Views are panoramic inland and to the sea. The average inner diameter is 8.75m, outer diameter is 11.6m. The double skinned wall is 2.3m thick with maximum height 0.6m. A possible entrance faces west. The cave which gives the site its name is linked to the HC through the back eastern wall underneath tumble from the cliff. A drystone lintelled passage has width 1.0m and widens into a larger area which is likely to have been used as a shelter or a dwelling in the past. The whole passage is around 6m long. IB001 is 300m from GS006 and 500m from GS007. <3> <4>

[Note: a database was set up as part of research for the dissertation and was subsequently expanded as an extension of the We Digs Project (see website link below). The full access database can be made available to enquirers/researchers if requested - contact HER for details].

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 to location as shown on 2009 APs. <5>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NC 0660 2800 (19m by 19m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC02NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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