MHG51487 - Former Longhouse, Garvault, Loch Merkland


Unroofed longhouse, the section containing the house was last used as a byre. Part of Garvault Farmsteading.

Type and Period (3)

  • BYRE (In use, 20th Century - 1906 AD? to 1963 AD?)
  • LONGHOUSE (Medieval to 20th Century - 1058 AD? to 1906 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

This building is first depicted on the 1st edition 6" OS map c.1878 as a roofed structure. It is likely that this building was the original longhouse at Garvault. The north-eastern section of the building would have functioned as the dwelling house, with the south-west half functioning as the byre. Between 1878 and 1906 the detached house to the north-east (MHG51485) was built, and at this point it is likely the house in the longhouse was abandoned in favour of the new dwelling, and the entire longhouse was given over for use as a byre.
The former house section of the building is of rubble construction with frequent areas of infill both between and around stones. It now has only a single opening located in the south-east wall. This wall contains evidence for the previous use of the building as a dwelling; the quoin stones from a window setting survive to the right of the doorway; the present doorway has quoin stones to the right only suggesting a modification to the door width; a straight join is evident to the left of the doorway suggesting later modification. Internally, further evidence survives for its original use; a small simple fire place is located in the north-east end wall. A small doorway is located off centre in the south-west end wall linking this half of the longhouse to the south-west section of the building; the lintel has a decorated edge. Two low stone walls, set at right angles and adjoined to the north-east gable of the building, are all that remain of a small lean-to/possible fuel store.
The south-west part of the building (the byre) is of rubble construction, the workmanship is not as good as the former house to the north-east. This part of the longhouse is now much reduced and is in a very ruinous state with walls only standing to 3-4 feet in most places. It has a number of mature trees in the centre. It is linked to the former house by a small doorway and to the enclosure to the north-west by a second small doorway, presumably to allow for the movement of livestock. From the south-west end of the byre a low rubble dyke runs to the south-west and curls around to the north where is peters out. It may represent the remains of an old enclosure <1>. Photographed <2>.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 38350 32029 (25m by 12m) (3 map features)
Map sheet NC33SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (0)

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