MHG61218 - Hut circle - Breakachy Burn 'F'
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 F (- note, original OS description for F is missing - IS-L 06/11/2019)
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 F - [NH 45595 45562] The remaining circular walls are indistinct apart from in the west and south east quadrants. Located on a gentle south facing slope, it has a definite entrance and entrance passageway consisting of two lines of rough large stones to the south which measured 2.3m in length, 1.5m in width and with stones standing 0.8m in height. The recent heather burning had exposed a degenerate circle that would otherwise have been missed. The general shape was circular. The internal diameter measured 7.3m x 9.75m on the north-south axis. The internal diameter measured 9.98m x 11.05m. <1>
NH45595 45562 Allt na Criche 2 (F) RSJ002 (F). 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. RSJ002 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 HC is 90m from a stream, 18m from a lochan and 450m from a river. RSJ002 is sited on a gentle south facing slope with panoramic views inland. The ring bank is covered with grass and heather; some facing stones are visible. Average inner diameter is 8.0m with outer diameter 10.5m. The double skinned wall is 1.5m thick with maximum height 0.3m. The probable entrance faces south, and a small walled passage with total length 2.3m seems to form an extended entrance (see sketch). Alternatively this passage could have been added later for farming purposes. A shieling lies at a distance of 53m from the HC. RSJ002 is at a distance of 30m from RSJ001 (see MHG61219) and 35m from RSJ003 (see MHG61217). <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 H58; OS Hut Circle F. Recent heather-burning (for grouse) has exposed a degenerate circle of stones that could otherwise have been missed. On a gentle south facing slope, 5m south of the main track to Urchany, this oval hut circle has a definite entrance in the S, associated with an entrance passageway. Two lines of rough large stones define this walled entrance passage-way, 1.3m long, 1.5m
wide, with stones standing to 0.8m high, as shown on Fig 42. The hut circle is 9.98m x 11.05m with indistinct walls of stone and heather. The stones are best shown in the W and SE quadrants. <5>
- --- 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> 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> Text/Manuscript: Welti, A.. 2012. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye. University of Aberdeen. Yes. Digital. RSJ002.
- <3> Dataset/Database File: Welti, A.. 2009-2016. Roundhouses of Wester Ross and parts of Skye: project database. Lochbroom Field Club. Yes. Digital. RSJ002.
- <4> Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph/Vertical: Get Mapping. 2009. Getmapping aerial photography 2009.
- <5> 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.21,24. Site H58, Figures 31,32,43-45.
|Grid reference||Centred NH 4559 4557 (16m by 16m)|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Investigations/Events (1)
External Links (2)
- http://www.wedigs.co.uk (View the WeDigs in Wester Ross Project website)
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/12356 (View HES Canmore entry for this site)
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