MHG58414 - Platform, embankment, Sgamadail (west)


Platform, embankment, Sgamadail (west)

Type and Period (2)

  • STRUCTURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • EMBANKMENT (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 1110. Apparently recessed into a N facing slope, this rectilinear feature comprises a line of boulder footings, with, in some places, smaller boulder and stone walling, 0.8m high and extending for 5m N-S on the E side. At the S end of this wall, an earthfast boulder appears to have been incorporated as a cornerstone. Onto this a number of smaller boulders appear to have been piled to form a cairn. At the N end, the walling appears to have been constructed over an earthen embankment. The structure has rounded corners at the N end. A 1.5m length of walling appears to extend out from what may be the N side of a W facing entrance way in the N wall. No E facing wall can be discerned. However, a terrace, extending E-W, appears to extend from the W end of the structure for 3m, before the slope begins to steepen. <1>

Note; Site not visible on AP’s so location approximate. (T Blackie 3/8/18)

Sources/Archives (1)


No mapped location recorded.


Grid reference Not recorded
Map sheet Not recorded
Civil Parish GLENELG
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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