MHG57420 - Hut circle - Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand East 4)
A hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird.
Type and Period (1)
- HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
- None recorded
A hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird.
(NG 773 802) An ancient settlement (c3000 BC) in an area of some 40 acres, is situated 1,350 yards from Loch-an-t-Seano-bhalle and 1,600 yards from Loch na Lairig. The remains of at least 4 beehive huts exist, 3 of which appear to be undisturbed. The fourth has about half of the perimeter wall dismantled. An 'altar' stone weighing some 4-5 tons extensive walling and a long mound were noted.
Info in letter from W J Mitchell (AO/c/xm) to OS 9 9 1964
NG78SE 1.03 77 80 to 78 81
From NG 768800 to NG 786814 there are remains of a probable IA settlement area occupied later as shielings followed by more recent (pre-1850) occupation.
The probable IA settlement is indicated by some 20 hut-circles widely scattered, two enclosures and fragmentary traces of field walls of stone. The huts vary in condition from mere boulder outlines to substantial stone walls and in size from 6m-13m overall diameter with entrances where evident in the E segment. Several have a small compartment either attached to outer or inner face of the enclosing wall. The best preserved is at NG 7793 8090. It is 11.5m in overall diameter and is formed by a heather covered stone wall, with inner and outer facings 2.4m thick and c. 0.7m high with a well defined entrance on the E side. Two short stretches of wall extend NW & NE from hut, between W side of NE wall and outer face of wall is a small sub-triangular compartment.
The larger of the enclosures is situated at NG 7758 8045. It measures 17.5m E-W x 16m N-S overall and now consists of two concentric walls of stone, 2.3m apart (but which may have been 2.3m thick) and 0.5m max height. No definite entrance was established.
Two types of stone clearance were noted within the area. Firstly, the usual gathering of the stones into small heaps, now heather-covered, and secondly, on ground thickly covered by stones and rock fragments, small cultivation plots have been created here and there by simply throwing the stones aside.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 October 1964.
177929 880605 Sand East 4 AMC203: The hut circle was visited by A Welti and A MacInnes in 2010 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. There are over 30 probable hut circles in the area around Sand River and its tributaries. The land may have been especially fertile as, at the end of the Ice Age, the path of the ice retreat from the furthest points of the Wester Ross Readvance follows the areas of clustering of the recorded Sand River hut circles. The melting ice would have dropped many rocks of all sizes together with a variety of minerals. The landscape would thus have contained easily accessed building materials on fertile ground. This circular stone structureis on a very gentle west facing slope, on a natural shoulder. AMC201 (see MHG57418) and AMC002 (see MHG57419) are close and are situated on the same shoulder. Each of these three HC's has a substantial built up embankment. The surrounding landscape cover is a mixture of heather, bracken and grass. The HC interior cover is mainly grass with some moss bracken and rushes. The circular structure is 70m from s stream and 400m from the Sand River which could have been navigable. Views from the site are panoramic to both inland and sea. There are clearance cairns in the vicinity of the HC, a shieling hut 7m by 3m is built inside the structure and there are two enclosure walls abutting the HC walling, one to the north and one to the southeast. The HC wall and embankment are substantial; clearly defined facing stones are visible in northwest arc, with a few outer facing stones also in evidence. Also in the northwest arc are the remains of a small later structure, possibly a lambing pen, built against a large outer facing stone. 10m to the northeast (at NG77941 80627), is a small circular structure without much structure, with estimated outer diameter 6m. AMC203 has average inner diameter 8.6m, outer diameter 13.1m.The double skinned wall is 2m thick with maximum height 0.3m. The possible entrance faces southeast with external width 1.5m and passage length 2m. AMC203 is distant 20m from AMC202 and 40m from AMC201. There are 21 hut circles recorded in this survey of the area named Sand East. Most of the hut circles appear in clusters of two or three very close to one another which in turn are near to other small clusters of two or three. Association, based on distances between all these structures and clusters, is likely. Field survey alone, without dating, cannot provide answers. The clusters of two or three HC's are as follows: AMC200 (see MHG25315) with GS003, AMC201 with AMC202 and AMC203, AMC204 with AMC205, AMC206 with AMC207 and JB300, JB301 with JB302, JB303 and JB304, JB305 with JB306, JB307 and JB308, JB310 with JB311. Neither JB309 or JB312 have a close pairing. AEMC007 seems complex and different from the other structures. <1> <2>
[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].
NGR adjusted in 2017 to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <3>
- <1> Text/Manuscript: Welti, A.. 2012. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye. University of Aberdeen. Yes. Digital. AMC203.
- <2> Dataset/Database File: Welti, A.. 2009-2016. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye: project database. Lochbroom Field Club. Yes. Digital. AMC203.
- <3> Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph/Vertical: Get Mapping. 2009. Getmapping aerial photography 2009. XY
|Grid reference||Centred NG 7792 8061 (18m by 18m)|
|Geographical Area||ROSS AND CROMARTY|
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