MHG61217 - Hut circle - Breakachy Burn 'E'
A hut circle at Breakachy Burn (Urchany Glen/ Allt na Criche).
Type and Period (1)
- HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
- None recorded
A hut circle at Breakachy Burn (Urchany Glen/ Allt na Criche), recorded originally by the OS as hut circle E.
Depop., cairns, etc.
OS 6"map annotated by A L F Rivet (nd)
Centred at NH 455 455 is a settlement of ten stone-walled huts and a field system.
Hut 'E' is circular, the remainder are oval. Except for 'A', 'G' and 'H' the measurements are given between wall centres.
Hut 'A', set into a SW-facing slope, is visible as a platform measuring about 12.0 m NNW-SSE by 10.0 m trans- versely, bounded by a stony build-up round the SW arc and a back scarp. The entrance is in the SSE at the change of slope.
'B', set into a W-facing slope, measures about 10.5 m NW- SE by 9.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m. The 'simple' entrance is in the SE, at the change of slope.
'C', adjacent to 'B', measures about 12.5 m N-S by 10.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m all round. The outer wall face is visible round the E arc. The 'simple' entrance, about 1.0 m wide, is in the S, at the change of slope.
'D', at the base of a knoll, measures about 10.0 m from the NNW through the 'simple' entrance in the SSE by about 9.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.5 m all round. The outer wall face is visible round the S arc. Attached to the W arc of the hut and following the curve of the wall of the hut is an elongated enclosure measuring approximately 10.0 m long by 2.5 m wide within a stone wall spread to about 1.5 m. There is no apparent entrance. It is similar in appearance to the 'souterrains' described on NJ 40 SW 3. (See 1:250 plan.)
'E', built up on a S-facing slope, measures about 6.5 m in diameter with the wall spread to about 2.0 m. The entrance is not apparent.
'G' has the outer wall face visible round most of the perimeter giving overall measurements of 13.5 m NNW-SSE by 12.0 m transversely. The wall is spread to about 2.0 m all round. The S arc has been robbed and the entrance is not apparent.
'H' has the inner wall face evident round most of the perimeter giving internal measurements of 10.0 m NNW-SSE by about 8.0 m transversely. The wall is spread to an indeterminate thickness. The entrance is not apparent.
'J' is denuded and measures about 9.0 m NW-SE by 8.0 m transversely with the wall spread to about 2.0 m all round. The entrance is not apparent.
'K', set into an E-facing slope, measures about 13.5 m N-S by about 11.5 m transversely with the wall spread to some 2.5 m all round. Stone clearance has been piled over the W arc. The 'simple' entrance, about 1.3 m wide, is in the S at the change of slope.
About 15 m NE of hut 'K' is a circular hollow, about 6.0 m in diameter, with traces of walling round the edge. Stone clearance has been piled within. The field system, partly overlaid by a depopulated steading, is marked by stone clearance heaps, lynchets and walls forming fields varying in size from about 15 m by 10 m to about 50 m by 30 m.
Divorced survey at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (R L) 17 March 1970
(Name: NH 4555 4550) Settlement & Field System (NR)
OS 1/10,000map, (1975)
This unenclosed settlement comprises the remains of four oval stone-walled houses and two scarped platforms which may represent the sites of timber houses. In the vicinity there are several other platforms of unknown function and also extensive remains of stone clearance, some of which may be of relatively recent date.
The suggested enclosure attached to hut circle 'D;, at NH 4550 4545 is almost certainly the line of a collapsed souterrain. Otherwise, the hut circles and field system are as described by OS surveyor.
Visited by OS (J M) 11 February 1981
This site was visited multiple times by R Spencer-Jones of NOSAS between March and June 2013. All but three of the hut circles were identifiable due to heather burning at the site (for grouse) which had made the majority of hut circles more visible. The three that were unlocated were A, J and K.
Hut E - [NH 45601 45501] The remaining walls are best seen to the west where the remains are 1.4m thick and stand 0.3m high. Located on a gentle east facing slope, it occupies a slight knoll with a built extension to the south. The recent burning had exposed a degenerated circle of stones that could other wise have been missed. The general shape was circular. The internal diameter measured 4.7m x 4.1m. The external diamteter measured 7.5m x 7.5m. An entrance was not Identifiable. <1>
NH45601 45501 Allt na Criche 3 (E) RSJ003. The hut circle was visited by A Welti and R Spencer-Jones in 2013 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 circular stone strucure is one of a group of 10 roundhouses at Urchany Glen. RSJ003 is in poor condition. There are 3 duns in the near landscape and a burial cairn is nearby. The HC is adjacent to an enclosure. Evidence of long term agriculture in the area is given by turf and stone field walls, and clearance cairns. The terrain is rough, hilly and rocky. Vegetation inside the structure is mainly heather, with some moss and grass. The surrounding landscape vegetation is entirely heather. The site is 66m from a stream, 33m from a lochan and 450m from a river, and has panoramic views inland. The platform is built out from a gentle south facing slope. Average inner diameter is 4.4m, outer diameter is 7.5m.The double skinned wall thickness is 1.4m with maximum height 0.3m. No entrance was discernable. A shieling lies at a distance of 40m. RSJ003 is 35m from RSJ002 (see MHG61218). <2> <3>
[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 location as shown on 2009 Aps. <4>
The North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NoSAS) undertook an archaeological survey of Urchany in 2015.
Site H59; OS Hut Circle E. On a gentle east facing slope, this small hut circle occupies a slight knoll, with a builtextension to the south. Recent heather-burning (for grouse) has exposed a degenerate circle of stones that would otherwise easily have been missed. The structure is circular, 7.5m diameter, with walls best seen to west, where they are 1.4m thick, standing up to 0.3m high. There is a possible entrance in the S. <5>
- --- SHG2673 Text/Report: RCAHMS. 1979. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North-east Inverness, Inverness District, Highland Region. . 20, No. 130.
- <1> SHG26508 Dataset/Database File: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2013. Information on Hut Circles at Allt na Criche or Creag Dubh. North of Scotland Archaeological Society. Yes. Digital.
- <2> SHG27403 Text/Manuscript: Welti, A.. 2012. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye. University of Aberdeen. Yes. Digital. RSJ003.
- <3> SHG27404 Dataset/Database File: Welti, A.. 2009-2016. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye: project database. Lochbroom Field Club. Yes. Digital. RSJ003.
- <4> SHG27392 Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph/Vertical: Get Mapping. 2013. Getmapping aerial photography 2013. XY
- <5> SHG28596 Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Spencer-Jones, R.. 2020. A NoSAS Survey of the Lands of Urchany: A Multi-period Settlement on the Braes West of Beauly: 6th-10th April 2015. North of Scotland Archaeological Society. Digital. p.21,23, Site H59, Figures 31,32,39,40,41.
|Grid reference||Centred NH 4559 4553 (13m by 13m)|
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