MHG58495 - Sheep fank and pens, Croulin (west)


Sheep fank and pens, Croulin (west)

Type and Period (2)

  • FANK (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • PEN (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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

There are small townships on both sides of the burn some 500m inland, whilst lower down, closer to the shore, there are numerous scattered ruins within the now enclosed fields (figs. 13 and 14). The homes of the 2 current occupants, along with their various outbuildings, sit to either side of the enclosed ground. We estimate that as much as 10 hectares of land was in cultivation at one time. The cultivation remains are still very visible, both on the ground and in aerial photographs. Later the best of the ground was enclosed by a substantial stone wall and shows evidence of having been ploughed by tractor. A sheep fank was constructed on the top side of the enclosed ground (Site 1136; fig. 14; plate 27). It is also possible that - after the lower ground was first enclosed - the poorer ground above the head dyke was cultivated in lazy beds for potatoes, at the time when the population was at his peak.

Site 1136. A complex sheep fank, measuring a maximum of c.26m NW-SE x 14m NE-SW. It has double faced stone walls, the turf capping of which survives in part and rounded external and internal corners. The walls are c.1m wide at the base, tapering to c.0.5m at the top, and are c.1m high. The outer wall has an entrance in the NW wall, which is c.0.75m wide, and there are 2 possible blocked entrances in the SW wall. The outer face of the S wall is curved, with a right angled dog leg about half way along its inner face. Within the outer wall there is:

a) A sub-rectangular pen, measuring c.10m x 3m wide, over tumbled walls, c.0.5m wide and c.0.75m high. It has an entrance in the NW corner and a twinning pen in the NE corner. There is a possible internal division wall, running NNW-SSE, but its stonework is tumbled and scattered; its purpose is unclear.

b) Immediately to the S is a pen measuring c.6m NW-SE x 5m NE-SW. The N wall is c.1m high, as is the E wall, except in the vicinity of the adjacent pen (a). It has an entrance in the NE corner.

c) A pen, measuring c.5m NE-SW x 4m NW-SE lies to the S of b). It may be part of the original structure, though it has been rebuilt with waterproof (tarred) membrane covering the lower courses and a coarse concrete capping walls, c.0.5m high. It has an entrance in the NE corner, while tumbled stone runs on a NW-SE line on the S side of pen.

D) A c.9m long and c.0.5m high wall runs SW-NE from the outer wall, c.0.75m from pen c) and en a). <1>

NGR adjusted based on 1999-2001 AP’s <2>

1st Edition OS 6" <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 7797 0912 (26m by 32m) (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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