MHG57918 - Cairnfield, Skiary


Cairnfield, Skiary

Type and Period (1)

  • CAIRNFIELD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

These sites were recorded by NOSAS in 2004 as part of an archaeological survey of Inner Loch Hourn. This a substantial crofting settlement as seen today, on the exposed outwash fan of a river, the Allt Coire Mhicrail, where most of the numerous houses and other buildings have long since been deserted. Skiary remains a home today with one occupied dwelling house and ancillary buildings. Some 85 sites were identified and recorded here.

The shoreline structures are particularly numerous and complex, reflecting the importance of Skiary during the hay-days of the herring fishing period and warrant a more detailed survey at some time. The river at Skiary is very destructive when in spate and it breaks out of its main channel spreading rock and stone debris over a wide area. It has taken away several bridges and buildings in the past and there have been numerous attempts to contain it. The land today is divided up into small fields, plots and enclosures with dozens of clearance cairns everywhere. There is very little evidence of lazy bed cultivation and it is presumed that any lazy beds on the lower ground have long since been levelled out by later plot working. Several such plots are well defined by shallow ditches.

The shore line at Skiary shows signs of much development, evidence of the fact that it was an important port and victualling station for the herring buses of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and due to their complexity would warrant a plane-table survey. (Note; NOSAS undertook this survey of Skiary waterfront in 2006 - see p. 39)

Site 420. 4 possibly 5 clearance cairns utilizing rock outcrops as starting points, which measure between 2 to 5m in diameter and up to 0.7m in height. Immediately to the N of this group is a large heap of stones on a rock outcrop which measures c 9m in diam and is about 1m high.

Site 421. In a bracken covered area of ground are several clearance cairns, often utilizing rock outcrops of various sizes as starting points. The cairns range up to 5m in diam, and 1m in height. <1>

1st Edition OS 6" <2>

A report on the 2006 Archaeological Survey of Loch Hourn <3>

Note; Site not visible on Aps so location approximate. (T Blackie 25/5/18)

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 9285 0715 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG90NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish GLENELG

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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