MHG58001 - Head dyke, Skiary


Head dyke, Skiary

Type and Period (1)

  • HEAD DYKE (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 433. A head dyke enclosing the Skiary township. It commences at the Allt Coire Mhicrail and runs up hill at an angle to block off in 2 sections the gaps between natural cliffs. There is at least one entrance. It remains up to 1.2m in width and 1.2m in ht and is of stone construction with a turf cope. <1>

NGR adjusted based on 1999-2001 APs <2>

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

Note; The head dyke continues east along the coast. It also disppears from the APS south west of the township. (T Blackie 6/6/18)

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 9301 0703 (244m by 452m) (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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