MHG58509 - Hut Circle - Ben-a-cheilt


A hut circle was identified on the SE side of Ben-a-cheilt.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • CLEARANCE CAIRN? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle was identified on the SE side of Ben-a-cheilt.

Site visits, field survey, description plans and photography were undertaken as part of Scotland's Rural Past Ben-a-cheilt project.
A hut circle is situated in rough grazing and heather on a gently sloping terrace on the SE side of Ben-a-cheilt and beside it are two smaller circular buildings and three stone-based peat-covered mounds. The group lies at c170m OD and may represent the re-use of an earlier site as a shieling ground (see MHG62554). The hut circle (ND 20232 36344) measures 5.5m - 5.7m in internal diameter, within low stone walls c2m wide. A very large stone measuring 2.6m long x 1.8m wide x 1.8m high is set within the W wall and forms a raised, flat surface in the interior of the hut, with a flat stone setting below it. The entrance faces SE and is defined by two triangular orthostats (1m high x 0.9m at the base). One stone has toppled and is lying across the entrance, covered with heather and turf. The upright entrance stone has a probable geological feature at the tip - two holes approximately 2cm in diameter – the significant use of this stone may be related to a similar stone 2km distant, which has an associated folk-story connected to “The Stone With Eyes”. The two shieling huts lie either side of the hut circle to the east and west. Close by, there are three stone-based peat covered mounds at ND 20238 36363, ND 20248 36372 and ND 20257 36365. <1>

Most of the grid references in <1> are incorrect. Those for the two possible shieling huts place them both to the south of the hut circle, though the first mentioned also appears to be c.11m to the south of its position on vertical APs. Those for the mounds are also c.11m to the south of their AP positions but are in the correct relative positions to each other with the centre of the group being c.21m to the northeast of the hut circle. The possible shieling hut measuring 4m in diameter appears to be the feature immediately to the south of the hut circle at NGR 320234 936347. However, the second, smaller, hut is not immediately visible on APs. There is, however a feature 17m to the north of the hut circle at NGR 320227 936380 which looks like a shieling hut. In case it is not the feature described in <1> it has been given its own record (see MHG62255) [IS-L 12/05/2021].

GIS spatial data amended in 2021 according to location of site as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 2023 3635 (15m by 15m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND23NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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