MHG58951 - Hut circle - Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand South 5)


A hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand South).

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand South). Possibly not recorded originally by the OS, but difficult to be sure.

(NG 773 802) An ancient settlement (c3000 BC) in an area of some 40 acres, is situated 1,350 yards from Loch-an-t-Seano-bhalle and 1,600 yards from Loch na Lairig. The remains of at least 4 beehive huts exist, 3 of which appear to be undisturbed. The fourth has about half of the perimeter wall dismantled. An 'altar' stone weighing some 4-5 tons extensive walling and a long mound were noted.
Info in letter from W J Mitchell (AO/c/xm) to OS 9 9 1964

NG78SE 1.03 77 80 to 78 81
From NG 768800 to NG 786814 there are remains of a probable IA settlement area occupied later as shielings followed by more recent (pre-1850) occupation.
The probable IA settlement is indicated by some 20 hut-circles widely scattered, two enclosures and fragmentary traces of field walls of stone. The huts vary in condition from mere boulder outlines to substantial stone walls and in size from 6m-13m overall diameter with entrances where evident in the E segment. Several have a small compartment either attached to outer or inner face of the enclosing wall. The best preserved is at NG 7793 8090. It is 11.5m in overall diameter and is formed by a heather covered stone wall, with inner and outer facings 2.4m thick and c. 0.7m high with a well defined entrance on the E side. Two short stretches of wall extend NW & NE from hut, between W side of NE wall and outer face of wall is a small sub-triangular compartment.
The larger of the enclosures is situated at NG 7758 8045. It measures 17.5m E-W x 16m N-S overall and now consists of two concentric walls of stone, 2.3m apart (but which may have been 2.3m thick) and 0.5m max height. No definite entrance was established.
Two types of stone clearance were noted within the area. Firstly, the usual gathering of the stones into small heaps, now heather-covered, and secondly, on ground thickly covered by stones and rock fragments, small cultivation plots have been created here and there by simply throwing the stones aside.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 October 1964.

178790 880768 Sand South 5 AEMC011: The hut circle was visited by A Welti, A MacInnes and J and M Buchanan in 2011 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. This circular stone structure is in good condition. It is one of a group of 10 circular structures on the lower south west slopes of Meall Mor. It lies 20m from a stream on a gentle south facing slope, inside an enclosure of indeterminate date. The platform sits on a natural terrace in the surrounding undulating landscape covered with heather, grass and bracken and with evidence for field boundaries of turf and stone. The vegetation in the interior of the HC is predominantly grass moss and bracken. Views from the site are panoramic over land and sea. The walls are very thick. They are well preserved to the south and contain one massive orthostat. Some of the inner and outer facing stones are well defined and the outer wall is well built. There are many stones and boulders on and around the site. Inside the structure are several stone compartments of unknown date, but possibly in wheelhouse style. Views from the site are panoramic over land and sea. Average internal diameter is 7.3m, external diameter is 10.4m. Double skinned wall thickness is 1.8m, with maximum wall height 0.8m. A definite entrance has both internal and external width 1.0m, with passage length 1.8m. AEMC011 is at a distance of 50m from AEMC009 (see MHG58949), 30m from AEMC008 (see MHG58948), and is 50m from AEMC010 (see MHG58950). Observation was made that the structure of AEMC011 is similar to that of Sand South 1, MB301 (see MHG17462), NG79241 80192, which is impressively built and very complete. Near to AEMC011, at NG78977 80552, is a sheepfold built with massive stones but no double skin, and an entrance which faces south-east. <1> <2>

[Note: a database was set up as part of research for the dissertation and was subsequently expanded as an extension of the We Digs Project (see website link below). The full access database can be made available to enquirers/researchers if requested - contact HER for details].

GIS spatial data created in 2018 to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 7878 8078 (16m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG78SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

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