MHG53734 - Possible hut circle - Eadar A' Chalda


A possible hut circle with later lambing pens.

Type and Period (2)

  • LAMBING PEN (18th Century - 1701 AD? to 1800 AD?)
  • HUT CIRCLE? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A probable hut circle later re-used and extended to form lambing pens.

Three sets of features were surveyed by Historic Assynt (see also MHG60896 and MHG60897). Feature O is a complex structure with five main components lying on the SE facing slope of a sheltered valley SE of the main farmstead. A sequence of oval foundations were recorded; they are all of the size, shape and construction associated with lambing pens and could thus be successive pens dating from Alexander MacKenzie’s introduction of sheep in the 1770’s. It is also considered possible that this feature could represent a hut circle from the Bronze or Iron Age robbed of its stone to create the pens. <1>

224509 923747 Eddrachalda 1 EB052: The hut circle was visited by A Welti, G sleight, E Blackburn and J Guest 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 oval stone structure is complicated to interpret. It lies on a gentle SE facing slope in an undulating hilly landscape. Views from the site are panoramic, with Loch Assynt in view to the south and views to the east over a large stream with rocky hills beyond. Vegetation in the surrounding landscape is mainly grass with some bracken and heather. Inside the structure vegetation consists of bracken with heather and some grass. The structure is on a platform dug into the slope. The underlying HC is marked '01' in the sketch. It is an incomplete oval with few stones visible, but it has a clear, although incomplete, ring bank. A shieling hut 'O2' is built into the western arc of 'O1'. 'O3' is a stone setting inside 'O1' which may indicate a burial cist. 'O4' is a later wall, possibly part of a small sheep pen. 'O5', inside 'O1', seems like rubble but may have been a structure. To the SSE is structure 'P' with incomplete edges which may have been oval in shape. There are field walls in the surrounding landscape. EB052 lies on a slumped platform, dug into the gentle slope. The approximate oval dimensions of 'O1' are internal diameters 6.0m and 7.0m, external diameters 8.5m and 10.1m. The double skinned wall is 1.2m thick with maximum height 0.25m. EB052 is very close to a chambered cairn, is within sight of Ardveck Castle at 200m distance, and is at a distance of 100m from EB053 (see MHG). <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].

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 to location as shown on 2016 Aps. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 2450 2376 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC22SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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