MHG59176 - Hut circle - Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand East 22)


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

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 East). 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.

177558 880554 Sand East 22 AEMC007: 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. There are over 30 probable hut circles in the area around Sand River and its tributaries. The land may have been especially fertile as, at the end of the Ice Age, the path of the ice retreat from the furthest points of the Wester Ross Readvance follows the areas of clustering of the recorded Sand River hut circles. The melting ice would have dropped many rocks of all sizes together with a variety of minerals. The landscape would thus have contained easily accessed building materials on fertile ground. This circular stone structure AEMC007 is in poor condition and is part of HER record MHG7650 which covers Dior'A'Bhaird township. The HC sits on a platform levelled by an embankment to the south. The site is on a gentle south facing slope. It is at a distance of 50m from a stream and 200m from a river. Views from the site are panoramic to both land and sea. Surrounding landscape is mainly grass with some heather and bracken. Inside the structure is a mixture of bracken and grass. The southern arcs are clearly visible, together with a southeast facing entrance. Very few stones mark the northern section. Average inner diameter is 10m, outer diameter is 12.95m. The double skinned wall is 1.4m thick with maximum height 0.2m. Entrance measurements were not possible. AEMC007 is around 70m from both GS003 on the other side of the stream, and AMC200. This site is complex, see sketches 2 and 3. The HC may be part of a ritual site which includes orthostats, placed stones, a slab (dimensions 2.4m by 1.8m) covering a possible chambered cairn, a large rock beside a small circle (inner diameter 3.0m) containing an orthostat height 1.0m, and various stony mounds. There are 21 hut circles recorded in this survey of the area named Sand East. Most of the hut circles appear in clusters of two or three very close to one another which in turn are near to other small clusters of two or three. Association, based on distances between all these structures and clusters, is likely. Field survey alone ,without dating, cannot provide answers. The clusters of two or three HC's are as follows: AMC200 (see MHG25315) with GS003 (see MHG57466), AMC201 (see MHG57418) with AMC202 (see MHG57419) and AMC203 (see MHG57420), AMC204 (see MHG57421) with AMC205 (see MHG57422), AMC206 (see MHG57423) with AMC207 (see MHG57424) and JB300 (see MHG57425), JB301 (see MHG57426) with JB302 (see MHG57427), JB303 (see MHG57428) and JB304 (see MHG57429), JB305 (see MHG57430) with JB306 (see MHG57431), JB307 (see MHG57458) and JB308 (see MHG57459), JB310 with JB311. Neither JB309 or JB312 have a close pairing. AEMC007 seems complex and different from the other structures. <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 2019 to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 7755 8056 (18m by 18m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG78SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

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