MHG61685 - Longhouse - Torbreck, Loch Bhuide


A longhouse at Torbreck near Loch Bhuide.

Type and Period (1)

  • LONGHOUSE (18th Century to 19th Century - 1795 AD? to 1830 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A longhouse at Torbreck near Loch Bhuide.

The site of the longhouse was recorded by CFA Archaeology during a walkover survey in advance of proposed upgrades to an overhead 275kV line by SSE. <1>

The site was subsequently visited in 2012 by Highland Archaeology Services during a walkover survey undertaken to assist site selection for electicity substations at Alness and Cambusmore. <2>

Archaeological works comprising the full excavation of the long-house complex were undertaken in 2013 by AOC Archaeology Group on behalf of Highland Archaeology Services in advance of the development of connections to a new electricity sub-station. It had not proved possible to avoid the site by SSE when designing the cabling routes. The excavation revealed a long-house complex of dry-stone and turf structures consisting of three phases of construction. These included two distinct house structures with associated animal byres and a small ancillary building. The structures had obvious internal partitions. Both of the house structures revealed intact floor deposits together with several internal architectural features. The easternmost house (Structure C) provided strong evidence for internal divisions with a rectangular ‘out-shot’ along its northern edge and a smaller rectangular recess along its southern edge. This latter feature was associated with the truncated remains of an internal wall. Within the centre of the house lay a large hearth made of flat stones. This was associated with a stone built draw-flue. A large rubble and dry-stone culvert ran from the ‘outshot’ to the front of the building. The eastern house had both front and back entrances. The latter being associated with the ‘outshot’. Two ‘cruck’ post settings were also recorded. A stone apron approximately one metre wide ran along the front of the building. A second house (Structure B) abutted the western wall of Structure C. A large hearth with collapsed chimney was built into the northeastern corner of the house. A possible second hearth was located within the center of the structure, although this was located close to the entrance and may be a large post-pad. To the west of this building at the lowest point of the site was an associated byre (Structure D). This appeared to have been re-modelled and a small ancillary building (Structure A) constructed at its eastern end, along the alignment of the longhouse. Ceramic and glass were recovered from within the buildings, together with the remains of an iron cauldron and two copper buttons. Initial examination of the pottery indicates that it is of early 19th century date. This correlates well with the known historical evidence for the occupation of the site during this period. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 6487 9804 (42m by 11m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH69NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (0)

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