MHG49727 - Hut circle - Gruinard Bay


A hut circle at Gruinard Bay.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) ENCLOSURE? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle at Gruinard Bay.

Hut circle, measuring 13m in diameter, constructed of large stones and is close to the NE end of the roadside car park.
Information by email from Terry Doe, 2 April 2006. <1>

NGR corrected to correct location as shown on aerial photographs [IS-L 09/08/2013]. Because of the previously inaccurate grid reference this feature was not located during a walkover survey by C Dagg in 2008 in advance of a replacement OHL between Aultbea and Dundonnell. This lead to an erroneous identification of a stony platform on the west side of the small stream as this feature. <2>

An alternative explanation for this feature is that it may be an enclosure associated with a farmstead to the south - see MHG21665.

195301 889975 GB001 Gruinard Bay 1: The hut circle was visited by A Welti and C Martin in 2009 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 oval stone structure is in fair condition and lies near the edge of a flat, gently sloping and west facing terrace, below a steep incline and above a level stretch of ground which culminates in sand dunes and a further drop to a sandy beach. Views from the site are panoramic over the sea. There are field boundaries in the surrounding landscape, where vegetation is mainly bracken with some grass. Inside the structure the vegetation cover is similar. The HC is at a distance of 150m from the Inverianvie River, 30m from the sea loch at Gruinard Bay, 30m from a small pond and 1000m from fresh-water lochan Carn an Lochain Duibh. The HC platform is dug into and built out from the gentle slope. In direction N/S the inner diameter is 9.4m and outer diameter is 11.8m. E/W the inner diameter is 11.7m and the outer diameter is 14.0m. Double skinned wall thickness is 1.0m with maximum height 1.5m. A possible entrance faces NW, with both internal and external width 1.0m and passage length 0.9m. Much alteration to the original HC seems likely. There is another possibility for an entrance facing south where there appears to have been a later infill. There are large natural boulders in the wall to the east side. The structure may have been modified by later farmers; the inner wall on the SE is nearly straight, not curved, there is a shieling 10 m from the HC, and there are footings of later rectangular buildings to the south. GB001 is 300m from GB002 (see MHG7772). <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].

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 953 899 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG98NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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