MHG61749 - Middle BA hut circle - NE of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness


A Middle Bronze Age hut circle to the northeast of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Middle Bronze Age - 1448 BC to 1292 BC) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A Middle Bronze Age hut circle to the northeast of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness.

A hut circle identified in LiDAR data gathered by AOC Archaeology in 2011 as part of the mitigation for the visual impact on the archaeological landscape associated with the proposed Baillie Hill windfarm, Caithness. It is one of three possible hut-circles in close proximity. <1>

The site was visited and recorded by topographic survey in 2015 as part of the 'Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness Project' undertaken by AOC Archaeology Group and members of the Castletown Heritage Society with local volunteers. The project ran as a series of four week long field schools training volunteers in techniques of field survey, systematic soil sampling and targeted excavation. Fieldwork in week one of the fieldschool (22-27/06/2015) focussed on using LiDAR data in the field, use of GPS to create simple maps of archaeological sites and ground-truthing sites through LiDAR. In week two (13-18/07/2015) participants learned how to create accurate plans using manual taped offset and plane table survey and total station and GPS surveys. Site 3: A hut circle set in rough grazing with mixed grasses, soft rush and gorse on gentle undulating SE facing slope, approximately 10m S of site 2. It measures 11.5m externally N-S and 12.2m E-W whilst the bank is approximately 1.3m wide and 0.25m in height with facing surviving in the NW quadrant. The entrance measuring 1.2m wide and faces WSW. In week three the hut circle was one of three subject to magnetometry survey. The same week the feature was subject to trial trenching. A single trench, Trench 2, was excavated over the bank and removal of up to 0.12m of dark grey brown humic silty clay topsoil from across the trench exposed an upstanding bank 2.2m wide and surviving 0.18m high composed of an earth and turf core of brown grey silty clay with lenses of pale grey sandy clay forming the main component of the bank. Stones up to 0.2m by 0.1m by 0.1m were spread through the bank, but did not form a facing course. It had been heavily disturbed by animal burrows and tree roots. Collapse or slumping deposits of silty clays overlay the bank to the interior and exterior of the hut circle. Cut into the natural were two ard marks showing the prior agricultural use of the area. A radiocarbon date obtained from bank material gave a date range of 1448-1292calBC (Calibrated 2σ). <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0177 6600 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND06NW
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (5)

External Links (1)

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