MHG53339 - Possible hut circle and/or ?Norse building - North Erradale, Gairloch


The low remains of a possible adapted hut circle, house or other sub-rectangular building.

Type and Period (2)

  • HOUSE? (Norse - 800 AD? to 1300 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) HUT CIRCLE? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The low remains of a possible adapted hut circle, house or other sub-rectangular building.

A rectangular building, measuring 10m x 4m internally, with an entrance at the SE end, recorded by T Doe in 2009. A small circular shieling hut overlies the interior. <1>

174490 881981 North Erradale 5 AM005: The structure was visited by A MacInnes and J Buchanan in 2009 as part of research for A Welti for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. This oval stone structure sits on a platform built out from a gentle slope with panoramic views westwards to the sea. A stream runs 20m from the structure. Wall construction seems to be double skinned with many large boulders still visible, similar to walls of AM001 (see MHG53321), 002 (see MHG57249), 003 (see MHG57250) and 004 (see MHG57251), but the shape is an irregular oval, possibly sub-rectangular. A later small cell or enclosure measuring 4.5m by 2.5m is built within the structure across the probable entrance, at the E end. Inner diameters are 3.7m (N/S) and 8.1m (E/W) and outer diameters are 6.3m and 10.6m. The wall is 1.3m thick with maximum height 0.3m. The probable entrance is to east, with width 1m. Passage length cannot be determined due to tumble and the later interior cell. AM005 may be associated with AM001, AM002, and AM003 (all around 400m distant), also with AM004 (500m distant) and AM006 (see MHG57252) (100m distant). This is possibly not a hut circle. It is more subrectangular than oval. However the wall construction is similar to that of the cluster of HC's in the area. It may possibly be Norse (the name Erradale has Norse origin) but adapted from an earlier HC. A smaller enclosure has been built within E end where probable entrance was (see sketch). <2> <3>

[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].

This building appears to be bow-sided.
Visited by RCAHMS (BRW, KMD ) 5 October 2010

The structure was re-visted by A Welti and A MacInnes in 2011 as part of the RCHAMS 'Scotland's Rural Past' project. The information was subsequently contributed to the ARCH Gairloch Community Timeline Project. The house remains are situated on a south facing slope overlooking the sea. The dimensions are 11m by 6.5m, with a maximum height of .7m. The walls appear to be bowed and there is an inner line of facing stones inside the N. Wall. There is some debate that this may represent a Norse house, but further fieldwork is necessary to confirm. <4>

Note: NGR adjusted to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs [IS-L 29/03/2017].

A survey of North Erradale was undertaken in 2013 by Macinnes, A. Harnden, A. Blakey, R. and researched by Macintyre, I.

Site 83. Possible viking house <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NG 7448 8199 (15m by 9m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG78SW
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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