MHG54448 - Field system, enclosures, walls and buildings - Allt A'chuilinn


Field system, enclosures, walls and buildings at Allt A'chuilinn

Type and Period (3)

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Undated)
  • BUILDING (Undated)
  • ENCLOSURE (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Allt A'chuilinn

A field system, enclosures, walls and buildings was recorded by NOSAS in 2007 as part of the Scotland's Rural Past Project. Centred on NH 3965 5750 the site covers approximately 0.4 hectares and comprises an extensive and complex system of field walls, enclosures and the boulder footings at least three small buildings. The site occupies the SW facing slopes above the River Conon between the 140m and 190m contours 1km to the NE of Little Scatwell. Much of the area has until recently been under forestry although recently clear felled and the archaeological remains here have suffered to a greater or lesser degree as a result. (see accompanying plan). A number of large irregular shaped independent enclosures, constituents of a wider field system are the predominant features here. The largest (47) is over 400m across, but typically they are less than 200m e.g. 48, 49 & 54. Two are depicted on the current edition of the 1:10,000 map (1971). The enclosures are mostly in the form of earth and stone dykes standing to some 0.8m high, although one enclosure (48) is almost exclusively of drystone construction. Some structural chronology is evident; number of smaller enclosures can be seen abutting earlier structures and other fragments of both earth and stone dyke suggest an originally more extensive complex. The boulder footings of three small oval buildings (51 -53) probably shieling huts, can be seen at NH 395 576 amid a network of smaller fields bounding the S side of the Allt a’Chuillin, along with some evidence of clearance cairns. Two other stone walled buildings or possibly small sheep folds (62&63) have been built on opposing sides of a large boulder located at NH 39716 57218 on the SW edge of the site close to a number of smaller more regularly shaped enclosures which may also be sheepfolds.

047 Enclosure - NH 39750 57300 A turf and stone field wall bounds this large enclosure and is almost complete (possibly because it is within the part of the forest that has not been felled and has therefore not been destroyed). It follows the west bank of a small stream to the SE and as much as 0.8m in height on its outer face in some stretches. The NE part is not quite as well preserved. A small sub-circular pen (site 67)is incorporated into the SE wall.

048 Enclosure - NH 39650 57650 (roughly centred) A sub-square enclosure, roughly 100m square, to the north of enclosure 54. Remains of stone walls encircle the enclosure and are more obvious in the forested part to the north, less so to the south where the area has been felled.

049 Enclosure - NH 39650 57800 (roughly centred) Adjacent and to the north of enclosure 48, this enclosure is roughly 80m x 60m. Remains of stone and turf walls are obvious on its east side and also on the west side. It is bounded on the NW by the Allt a ‘Chuilinn.

050 Field walls - NH 39539 57656 (centred) A complex of walls to the west of enclosure 48, see plan. The remains of the stone and turf walls are obvious under the brashings and seem to form a series of small enclosures which bound the Allt a Chuilinn.

051 Building - NH 39650 57655 A small building, roughly oval in shape and on a NE - SW alignment, measures 5m x 2m internally and uses a sloping natural rock face as its NW wall. To the S the ground has been built up to form a level platform. The roughly constructed walls are of irregular boulders and are 0.2m in height, but 0.5m where they abut the rock face. The walls have a spread of c1.2m. No entrance is discernable.

052 Building - NH 39580 57556 A small sub-circular building, measuring 3.5m x 3m internally in the angle between 2 field walls. Roughly constructed walls of irregular boulders, 0.5m in height and with a spread of 1- 1.5m approx. There is an entrance in NW corner.

053 Building/Pen - NH 39539 57546 A small oval building, measuring 2.5m x 1.3m internally. The roughly constructed walls of irregular boulders are 0.5m in height and have a spread of 1m. Small entrance in SE corner is 0.3m in width.

054 Enclosure - NH 39650 57501 (roughly centred) An area roughly 150m x 120m, oval to the south and squared to the north enclosing the summit of an obvious hill. A continuous turf and stone field wall encircles the area. The outside or lower face of this is as much as 1m in height, but generally it appears as a low irregular scatter of stones. To the north there is a prominent stretch of turf wall to a height of 0.4m.

055 Enclosure - NH 39560 57860 (roughly centred) A rectangular area roughly 150m x 80m on a gently southeast facing terrace. A short section of turf and stone wall is to be seen bounding the south edge of the enclosure before the ground drops away more steeply and to the north the stone footings of a boundary wall can be detected but nowhere are these walls obvious and continuous.

057 Enclosure - Roughly 60m square and bounded on its north side by the Allt a Chuilinn. There is a large mound which is possibly clearance material in the middle.

058 Enclosure - Small enclosure roughly 40m square, forms part of a complex area 059 Enclosure - an irregular linear enclosure, part of a more complex area.

060 Field walls/Enclosure - This is part of a much more complex area. The substantial south wall links up with that surrounding enclosure 054. The north wall is distinct but quite wiggly.

061 Enclosure - NH 39750 57276 - This small enclosure abuts enclosure 047 to its south. It has very regular straight walls and right angle corners, measures roughly 70m x 30m.

062 Building/Possible Pen - NH 39716 57218 - To the north of a large boulder which it uses as one of its walls this small pen measures 3m x 4m internally. The walls are roughly constructed of stones and have a 1m spread. There is an entrance in the N wall.

063 Building/Possible Pen - NH 39716 57218 - Uses the same boulder as 062 but is on its southwest side. Of similar size to 062 but much more obscure under the brashings.

064 Field wall - NH 39750 57162 Two sides of an enclosure have badly damaged by forest operations. A large boulder is situated at the NE corner.

065 Enclosures - NH 39882 57087 2 small enclosures with a common central wall. Walls mostly complete but badly damaged by forest ops.

066 Field wall - NH 40051 57102(N end) A turf and stone wall badly damaged by forest ops can be followed for 200m. Has probably been part of an enclosure and may well extend north to link up with enclosure 47 (this info from aerial photos of 1950).

067 Pen - NH 39772 57294 - A small sub-circular pen of 7m diameter incorporated into the S wall of enclosure 47. Walls of stone to 0.5m height.

329 Enclosure - NH 40034 56909 - A sub-circular enclosure roughly 50-60m diameter. Wasted turf and
stone walls surround. It is bisected by a deer fence, the NW part is under birch wood and the SE pine trees. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 3974 5743 (626m by 835m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH35NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish CONTIN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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