MHG59526 - Hut circle - Coille Gaireallach, Skye.


A hut circle, dating to the Early Bronze Age at Coille Gaireallach, Skye.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Occupied 1497-1384BC, Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1251 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle (site LS14), 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 Early Bronze Age (1497-1384BC). Finds included charcoal and an ochre pebble.

The remains of an 11m diameter circle of boulders lying on a natural terrace amongst native woodland (birch and hazel). The structure is heavily robbed and the wall survives as a single (outer) ring of large facing stones. The inner face of the wall is represented by occasional in-situ slabs. Trench 1 revealed the western half of a kerbed hearth. The site was, at some point, incorporated into a linear boulder boundary. The relationship of the boundary wall to the remains of the circular structure indicated that the boundary wall was later with only an arc of the circular stone wall lying on the line of the boundary being retained. The rest of the circular structure's walling was probably robbed during boundary construction. No obvious entrance survived. <1>

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

160440 819850 Coille Gaireallach 6 HPC14: The hut circle was 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 some may have been associated with it. HPC14 is a circular stone structure in poor condition. It sits on a natural terrace on a gentle slope in mature woodland with a northwestern aspect. A stream runs 12m to the southwest. The structure is a rough circle of stones. Vegetation in the surrounding landscape is a mixture of bracken, grass and woodland. The interior of the structure is covered with moss and grass. Boulder orthostat outer wall facings are visible, however the inner face is missing. The wall may be single skin. A later boundary wall runs north/south, cutting the western wall face tangentially. Average internal diameter is 10.5m, external diameter is 11m. Wall thickness is 0.5m and maximum wall height is 0.1m. No entrance was obvious. HPC14 is at a distance of 200m from HPC11 (see MHG59525) and 350m from HPC10 (see MHG59524). It is at a distance of 450m 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 MHG5230) and excavation produced charcoal. Two dates were obtained; from the hearth ash a C14 date of Early Bronze Age (1497-1384BC), and OGS from under the enclosure wall a Late Iron Age date, (379-429AD). <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 6044 1985 (20m by 20m)
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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