MHG7482 - Dun or Atlantic Roundhouse - A' Choille Mhor


A dun or Atlantic Roundhouse at A' Choille Mhor.

Type and Period (2)

  • (Alternate Type) DUN? (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possible dun or more likely an Atlantic Roundhouse at A' Choille Mhor, Glen Achall.

15 (26) NH 166957: The site was first visited and recorded by Dr T C Welsh in 1992. Marginal evidence for a dun on the edge of a terrace, under heather and bracken (Figure 4b). It is not clear whether this is a natural mound with scooped or eroded interior or a deliberate construction, although it is different from other such mounds in the area and at 35m S of rear of terrace over level ground is unlikely to be the result of alluvial deposition, rock pile or slip. It appears to comprise a semi-circular arc of very stony bank 6m thick and over 1m high, and opposite, with gaps ENE and S, a possible fragment of similar nature. There is a projection N and a low "tail" W on edge of terrace. The interior may be 8m diameter but there is an irregular ledge or shelf which reduces diameter to about 6m at lowest level within the mass. <1>

'Dun interior 8m diameter, 6m wall.' <2>

A' Choille Mhor, Glen Achall, Lochbroom: possible dun (NH 166957). Revisited and recorded in survey by Dr T C. Welsh in Sept. 1998. On a terrace on the north side of the valley there is a large stony mound about 18 metres in diameter, reduced on the south side almost to the exposure of the interior. The internal diameter is 8 metres, but this includes a pavement or shelf, rather broken up, 1.5 metres wide, and a lower central area 5 metres across. There is a possible entrance east-northeast, and a breach on the destroyed south side. The enclosing wall is 5 to 7.5 metres thick. <3> <4>

216626 895693 Loch Achall 3 AW503: The hut circle was visited by A Welti and D Welti in 2010 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross. This was part of a degree course overseen by Aberdeen University. The area around Loch Achall shows evidence of multi period farming and is currently well grazed by sheep. This circular stone structure sits facing south on a platform built out from a natural terrace with panoramic views inland. A gentle upward slope to the north becomes a steep slope about 8m from the HC wall. To the south the ground slopes down forming a steep embankment which ends in a boggy patch, (see sketch). The interior of the structure contains much tumble. In the past this structure has been interpreted as a dun. This survey suggests that there is not enough stone tumble for this interpretation. It may be a fairly massive roundhouse. The landscape around is a mixture of heather, bracken and grass. The interior of the structure is covered by a mixture of bracken and heather with very little grass. It is 50m from a stream, 120m from Loch Achall and 500m from the Ullapool River. Average inner diameter is 10.0m, exterior diameter is 12.0m. No wall construction could be identified. The mounded ring bank is covered in bracken and moss with no construction stones showing through the vegetation. The wall spread with tumble is 3m approximately, with a maximum wall height of 0.7m. The probable entrance faces east and opens onto level ground. AW503 is distant about 1000m from each of the cluster AW505 (see MHG6327), AW504 (see MHG7537) and AW502 (see MHG59280) on the other side of Loch Achall. <5> <6>

[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 amended in 2019 according to location of site as seen on 1999-2001 vertical APs. <7>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NH 1662 9570 (26m by 26m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH19NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

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External Links (2)

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