MHG59525 - Hut circle - Coille Gaireallach, Skye.


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

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Occupied AD80-240, Late Iron Age - 2 AD to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle (site LS11), one of 29 identified by M Wildgoose in a walkover survey as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project. Two test pits were subsequently excavated in the hut circle in 2011, and was dated to the Late Iron Age (AD80-240). Finds included iron slag, pottery, lithics, charcoal and pot boiler fragments.

Lying just 50m to the west of LS10 (see MHG59524) is a circular, stone walled structure which measures 11m in diameter over walls 1.50m thick. A door opening faces to the south east. A well built structure set on a negative platform. Excavation of Test Pit 1 revealed a slab hearth set in a shallow pit surrounded by iron slag, lithics, charcoal pieces, pot boiler fragments and pottery sherds. Test Pit 2 demonstrated that the wall was faced on both sides with coursed horizontal stonework between occasional boulder orthostat facings. The core of the wall was filled with small stones and earth. There was no evidence for a rebuild. A clean, compacted earth floor butted up to the internal face of the wall. <1>

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

160750 819660 Coille Gaireallach 5 HPC11: 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 (see MHG32043) and hence may have been associated with it. HPC11 is a circular stone structure in fair condition. It sits on a gentle southeast facing slope in mature woodland, 140m from a stream which lies to the east. The platform is dug into the slope. Vegetation in the surrounding landscape is a mixture of bracken grass and woodland. The interior of the structure is covered with bracken and grass. Both inner and outer wall facing stones are clearly visible in all quadrants and wall fill is stones. Average inner diameter is 7.0m, outer diameter is 10.0m. Double skinned wall thickness is 2.0m with maximum height 0.35m. A definite entrance faces southeast with external width 1.4m, internal width 1.3m and passage length 1.5m. HPC11 is at a distance of 50m from HPC10 (see MHG59525). HPC08 is now interpreted as a shieling (at NG6080 1960) and is distant 100m from HPC11. HPC11 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 and excavation produced pottery sherds, iron slag and lithics. From the occupation horizon a C14 date of Late Iron Age, (AD80-240) 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 created in 2019 to approximate location as shown on vertical APs.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 6070 1969 (16m by 16m)
Map sheet NG61NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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