MHG59632 - RE-USE Hut circle - Allt nam Suidheachan, Skye


A hut circle at Allt nam Suidheachan, Skye.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC? to 840 BC?)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 1501 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle (site LS25), one of 29 identified or re-recorded 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, with the find of a single sherd of black burnished pottery in the first phase of occupation, with more in the later phase. A radiocarbon date of the late Bronze Age was obtained for construction and occupation of the hut circle itself.

A large, boulder revetted platform lying on an open south facing hillside above a tributary of the Broadford River. The site is now somewhat obscured by a group of 18th /19th century shielings. Excavation revealed 3 phases of occupation the earliest of which appeared to pre-date the construction of the platform. Phase 1 was represented by a greasy black occupation horizon containing a finely made black burnished pottery sherd similar to those found at LS 121 and dated there to the Early Bronze Age. Phase 2 consists of the construction of the platform with an associated occupation horizon which has been C14 dated to the Late Bronze Age. Finds from this phase included 25 sherds of pottery, a single lithic, charcoal, and pot boilers. Features included a slab hearth ands a post hole. Phase 3 occupation consists of an overlying shieling group. <1>

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

159570 820490 Allt nam Suidheachan HPC25: 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 prehistoric 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. HPC25 is a large boulder revetted platform with double skinned walling. It lies on the steep slopes of Cnoc nam Fitheach, with a Southern aspect and has limited views inland. Vegetation in the surrounding landscape is mainly heather and grass; inside the structure it is mainly grass with some heather. The site is 100m from a stream and 1000m from a freshwater loch. HPC25 is isolated and is around 600m from High Pasture Cave. It is oval in shape and average measurements could only be taken E/W across the widest diameter as shown in the sketch. Average diameter is 13.5m. A small section of double skinned walling showed in the SE sector, thickness 2.0m and maximum height 0.6m. The site is overlain by a group of shielings. This HC was test-pitted by M Wildgoose and S Glover as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project, (see MHG5230). Excavation produced Charcoals, many pottery sherds, lithics, and pot boilers. Excavation revealed 3 phases of occupation. The earliest of these predated the platform, and was interpreted as Early Bronze Age by finds comparison with black burnished pottery found in HPC121. In phase 2 the platform with its associated occupation horizon gave a C14 date of 1000-840BC, Late Bronze Age. The third phase was the construction of the overlying shielings. <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 2010 vertical APs. <5>

Although not mentioned in M Wildgoose's report (see <1>), the plan of this site on page 28 (LS25) appears to show an arc of earthwork and stone walling of what may be an earlier hut circle on the south side of the main structure. This may explain the early Bronze Age occupation layer beneath the late Bronze Age hut circle.

Sources/Archives (5)


No mapped location recorded.


Grid reference Not recorded
Map sheet Not recorded
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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