MHG59524 - Hut circle - Coille Gaireallach, Skye.


A hut circle, dating to the Middle Iron Age at Coille Gaireallach, Skye.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Early Iron Age - 410 BC to 350 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle (site LS10), one of 29 identified by M Wildgoose in a walkover survey as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project. A trench was subsequently excavated in the hut circle in 2011, and was dated to the Middle Iron Age (410-350BC). Finds included pottery, lithics, charcoal and burnt bone.

Lying just 100m to the North West of LS08 at 105m OD is a circular turf ring-bank which measures 7m in diameter over a bank circa 1.2m wide at the base. Only one test pit was excavated covering both turf bank and the centre of the structure revealing a central pit-hearth containing charcoal pieces and a compressed white ash. A compacted earth floor containing lithics and pottery sherds surrounded the hearth. The bank was shown to be a compacted mound of the local subsoil faced with turf. <1>

Summary of the landscape survey project and test pitting campaign. <2>

160750 819670 Coille Gaireallach 4 HPC10: The hut circle was visited by revisited and recorded by M Wildgoose in 2011 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross for A Welti. This is one of a number of roundhouses in the area in and around Strath Suardal. This Strath runs NE/SW from Broadford to Torrin. These roundhouses are of special interest as all are within relatively easy reach of the site of High Pasture Cave (MHG32043) and hence may have been associated with it. HPC10 is a circular structure in poor condition. There are no visible stones. The ring bank is constructed of turf and is engulfed in bracken. The site is on the edge of Coille Gaireallach woodland and 120m from a stream which lies to the east. The surrounding landscape is mainly bracken covered. Inside the structure the vegetation is a mixture of bracken and grass. Average inner diameter is 4.0m, outer diameter is 6.25m. The turf wall is 1.1m thick with maximum height 0.65m. A definite entrance faces southeast and has width 1.5m. HPC10 is at a distance of 100m from HPC11 (see MHG). It is 100m from HPC08 (at NG6080 1960) which is now interpreted as a shieling. It is at a distance of 600m from High Pasture Cave. This HC was test-pitted by Martin Wildgoose and S Glover as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project, (see EHG5230). Excavation produced burnt bone, pottery sherds lithics and charcoals. From the occupation floor a C14 date of Middle Iron Age (410-350BC) was obtained. <3> <4>

[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 amended in 2019 to approximate location as shown on 1999-2001 APs. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NG 6074 1966 (16m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG61NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.