MHG59773 - Hut circle and/or ritual enclosure - NE of Torrin, Skye

Summary

A possible hut circle and/or ritual enclosure at NE of Torrin, Skye. Known as 'Vampire Pot'.

Type and Period (3)

  • HUT CIRCLE? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • RITUAL SITE? (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Unknown date)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possible hut circle and/or ritual enclosure at NE of Torrin, Skye. Known as 'Vampire Pot'.

An enclosure or possible hut circle (site LS113), 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 excavated in the hut circle in 2011. A massively built circular structure set on a positive platform and surrounded by numerous small cell like structures and boulder boundaries. The central structure consists of a circular boulder setting measuring 14 meters in overall diameter with an in-turned entrance which faces to the north west. Excavation revealed no evidence of occupation whatsoever. Possibly an animal enclosure related to the surrounding shielings. <1>

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

158505 821051 HPC28 Vampire Pot: The hut circle was visited by A Welti and J Guest in 2010 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. 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. HPC28 is 2000m from High Pasture Cave and has panoramic views to sea and inland. The circular structure is in fair condition, is massive and is surrounded by numerous cell like structures, some in possible settings and seeming to edge small level platforms. There are some possible stone rows perhaps indicating a ceremonial way. The structure lies on a positive platform on a moderate SW facing limestone slope with an underground stream running across and under it, (see diagram), and is 200m from a larger stream. It is 1000m from the sea loch, Loch Slapin. Surrounding vegetation is heather and grass, inside it is mostly rushes with some moss and grass. The outer diameter averages 17.0m. It was not possible to measure an inner diameter. The wall boulders were visible to the south and east sides of the structure, and the whole platform was massively embanked. A west facing entrance with the passage marked by boulders had width 0.6m externally and 0.9m internally, with passage length 3.2m. This HC was test-pitted by M Wildgoose and S Glover as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project, (see MHG5230). They found no evidence of occupation, but in the underground stream there was a deposit of pig bones, pot boilers and antler fragments similar to those found at High Pasture Cave, where Iron Age dates have been established. <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 location as shown on 2009 APs. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NG 5848 2106 (23m by 23m)
Map sheet NG52SE
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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