MHG58364 - Structures, Sgamadail (west)


Structures, 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 1103. A rectilinear feature with two ancillary cells, one at its S end, which has been built onto the W facing wall (Site 1104), and one at the N end, which has been built onto the internal face of the E wall (Site 1105). The structure measures 10m x 3m internally. The turf grown stone footings measure 0.5m in thick, where discernible. The wall collapse on the W side of the structure spreads to 1.5m. There are possible opposing entrances in the E and W walls; the entrance on the E wall measures 0.8m in width.

Site 1104. A rectilinear cell built into the WNW face of the SSW end of Site 1103. It measures 3m x 1m internally, with a W facing entrance, 0.5m wide. The visible remains comprise one course of grass grown boulder footings, 0.7m thick at the most.

Site 1105. A rectilinear cell built into and extending eastwards from the E end of Site 1103. It measures 1m x 2m internally, with a possible entrance in the NNE wall, measuring 0.3m in width. The visible remains comprise grass grown boulder footings. <1>

Note; Site not visible on AP’s so location approximate. (T Blackie 27/7/18)

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 7981 0947 (10m by 10m) Indicative centroid
Map sheet NG70NE
Civil Parish GLENELG
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.