MHG57423 - Hut circle - Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand East 7)
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.
177939 880898 Sand East 7 AMC206: 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. The HC is in good condition and is descibed as being the 'best preserved in the settlement'. It sits on a natural terrace on a gentle south facing slope, 10m to the south of a small rocky outcrop, and is 10m from a stream. A modern fence runs a few metres south of the structure, in an east/west direction. A field wall with a clear entrance abutts the HC to the north of its entrance. Another field wall runs from the crag to meet the northern wall of the HC. The structure is 700m from the River Sand. The surrounding landscape is a mixture of heather and grass. The walls are engulfed with moss and bracken and the interior is mainly grass covered. Views from the site are panoramic inland and to the sea. Average internal diameter is 6.15m, external diameter is 11.55m. The double skinned wall is 2.3m thick and maximum height is 1m. The wall is built up from the slight slope and the wall stones, still intact, are evident all around the structure. A definite entrance faces southeast and has external width 1.7m, and internal width 1.0m. Passage length is 2.8m which indicates extended terminals. A line of large boulders leads north to AMC207 (see MHG57424) which sits on top of the outcrop and is distant 10m from AMC206. AMC206 is not in sight of AMC204 (see MHG57421), AMC205 (see MHG57422), and AMC203 (see MHG57420), AMC202 (see MHG57419) and AMC201 (see MHG27418), but is approx 500m from both so may be associated with both clusters. The diameters of AMC205 and AMC204 are smaller than those of AMC203, AMC202 and AMC201. AMC206 is distant 40m from JB300 (see MHG). 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 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. AMC206.
- <2> Dataset/Database File: Welti, A.. 2009-2016. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye: project database. Lochbroom Field Club. Yes. Digital. AMC206.
- <3> Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph/Vertical: Get Mapping. 2009. Getmapping aerial photography 2009. XY
|Grid reference||Centred NG 7793 8091 (17m by 17m)|
|Geographical Area||ROSS AND CROMARTY|
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