MHG58418 - Structure, platform, embankment, Sgamadail (west)


Structure, platform, embankment, Sgamadail (west)

Type and Period (3)

  • STRUCTURE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • EMBANKMENT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • PLATFORM (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 1194. What appears to be a crescent shaped structure, set on a NE facing slope, consists of a tumbled wall ranging from 0.2m to 0.4m in height. Only the NW/W aligned arm can be fully discerned. This extends for 5m and measures 0.5m in thickness. The walling encircles the rim of a shallow, dished platform with an internal diameter of c.5m. A further crescentic feature, lies 3m downslope (NE). This is made up of apparently dressed boulders, round a downward sloping platform defined by two mounded terminals on the E and W sides. The latter consists of smaller stones piled up on larger boulders. The internal diameter of this feature measures 6m. A rubble spread extends NE into and beyond this interior platform, extending for 10m. Directly NE of this feature is another length of crescentic walling, which survives to a height of 0.2m and is up to 0.3m in thickness; this sits on top of a 3m high earthen embankment. <1>

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

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 7986 0949 (11m by 11m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG70NE
Civil Parish GLENELG
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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