MHG58362 - Structures, Sgamadail (west)


Structures (2), Sgamadail (west)

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Sgamadail (west)
These sites were recorded by NOSAS in 2008/9 as part of an archaeological survey of outer Loch Hourn.

Sgamadail is a place of two halves, referred to here as ‘east’ and ‘west’ for convenience. In the latter 18th century, they were known as ‘the two Sgamadails’ and were held - along with ‘the two Croulins’ - by the same person (Munro 1984). Both Sgamadails are sited on outwash fans, spreads of boulders and earth carried down by melt water from the corries above at the end of the last Ice Age (plates 22 and 25). The outwash fans around Loch Hourn do not appear to have been the first choice for settlement, but following the settlement of the fertile valleys like Glen Mor, Glen Beag and Glen Arnisdale, population pressure eventually led to the occupation of the outwash fans. Plenty of building material was available, while the soil in the pockets between the stone is mineral rich. With a huge amount of hard work removing stones, outwash is capable of being cultivated in plots of rig and furrow or as small terraces.

The Sgamadails are typical of a dozen or more similar settlements around the shores of the loch, apparently progressing from summer shielings to permanent settlements. Having said this, the first settlement at Sgamadail (east) might go back to prehistoric times, as two circular recessed platforms were discovered about 200m inland, at an altitude of about 100m OD (Sites 1283, 1284).

Site 1101. A curvilinear structure, with a dished interior, recessed into a NNW facing slope. It is grassy, but has been colonised by bracken. It has an internal diameter of 3m and the boulder footings measure 0.4m in thickness. There is evidence of up to 2.5m of wall collapse spreading from the SSE extent into the interior.

Site 1102. A rectilinear cell structure. It is located on a NNW facing slope, which, though grassy, has been colonised by bracken. Internally, it measures 0.5m x 0.7m, with one course of boulder footings remaining. The wall collapse from the N end spreads 0.5m into the interior. There is a possible entrance in the E facing wall, measuring 0.5m in width. <1>

Note; Sites not visible on AP’s so location approximate. Both sites given the same co-ordinates in the report. (T Blackie 27/7/18)

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 7983 0946 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG70NE
Civil Parish GLENELG
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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