MHG6364 - Hut circle - Ben Suardal


A hut circle at Ben Suardal.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (50BC-90AD, Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle at Ben Suardal.

By a small burn which runs through spoil heaps related to the marble quarries, at a height of 110m OD, is a complex group of enclosures and ruinous structures of many periods.
1. Circular stone-walled hut 12m in diameter over walls 1m thick. At the eastern side, two stones 0.5m high and 1m apart may represent a door opening.
2. Close by are the remains of at least twelve single- and multi-celled structures, possibly shielings.
A stone and turf dyke, into which a number of the shielings have been built, runs on the W side of the burn.
Visited by I J, 2 April 1990.

A hut circle (site LS115), one of 29 identified or re-recorded by M Wildgoose in a walkover survey as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project. The site comprises a 14m diameter ring bank made up of boulders and large stones set in an earth matrix. A single long test pit was excavated in the hut circle in 2011. At the centre of the interior was a shallow pit hearth with a slab base containing white ash and charcoal pieces. Finds included pottery sherds, lithics and pot-boiler fragments all pressed into the associated floor surface. This site was heavily disturbed by bracken roots. A radiocarbon date of the late Iron Age was obtained from the pit hearth and occupation layer. <1>

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

162270 819970 Ben Suardal 1 HPC115: The hut circle was revisited and recorded by M Wildgoose in 2011 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross for A Welti. 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. The HC is a large structure. It is submerged in bracken and is sited on a natural terrace on a very gentle slope, 40 m to the south of a stream. The site has limited views inland. The wall appeared to be a turf covered ring bank. There are a few stone facings on the exterior S and SE sections. Average inner diameter is 8m, outer diameter is 14m. These are approximate measurements and the structure may be slightly oval. The ring bank is 3.0m thick with maximum height of 0.8m. A possible entrance faces NW. There is a large group of shielings to the north of the HC known from previous records but bracken cover obscured these at the time of recording in 2011. This HC was test-pitted by Martin Wildgoose and S Glover as part of the High Pasture Cave and Environs project, (see EHG5230). Excavation produced pottery sherds, lithics, pot boiler fragments, and charcoals. The ring bank is made up of boulders and smaller stones set in earth. A C14 date of 50BC-90AD was obtained from the hearth in the occupation layer. <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 created in 2019 to approximate location as shown on 2010 vertical Aps. <5>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NG 6227 1998 (16m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG61NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish STRATH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.