MHG8263 - Hut circle - An Cachaileath Dearg (Torr Na H-Ulaidhe 11)


A hut circle at An Cachaileath Dearg, Gairloch.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A hut circle at An Cachaileath Dearg, Gairloch.

NG8052 7663: A hut circle lies in the fenced grassy park at An Cachaileath Dearg about 120m to the north of the modern sheepfold of Achtercairn Farm and 20m to the south of the gate in the park fence. A' Seann-rathad, the pre-1840s road, runs just to the east, between the hut-circle and the wire fence. The elevation is around 35m OD. The diameter of the structure is 9m by 8m; the walling of stone is very broken and no doorway is evident. The ambient vegetation is: grass, both inside and outside the circle. The remains of a small bothy, sub-rectangular approx ca. 3m x 2m are visible built inside the hut circle; another of about the same size and shape lies on the slope immediately beneath the circle. Not shown on OS maps (see MHG45340 and MHG57743 for the bothies). <1>

180522 876612 An Cachaileath Dearg AMC105: The hut circle was visited by A MacInnes in 2010 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross for A Welti. This circular stone structure is in fair condition. The ring bank is clearly defined, covered in turf with some bracken, and some facing stones are showing. The interior of the structure is covered in hummocky grass. The surrounding landscape comprises a hillside planted with trees and covered with a mixture of hummocky grass and bracken, with some heather. The site has panoramic views over the sea. The built up turf platform is dug into a gentle west facing slope. The site is 400m from a stream and 200m from the sea. Average internal diameter is 6.25m, external diameter is 8.3m. The double skinned wall is 1.6m thick with maximum height 0.75m. No entrance could be discerned. An Dun, 1500m to the south, may have been visible from the site. Field walls or any further structures could not be located due to the thick bracken and tree planting. A rectangular structure, 1.5m x 1.5m, height 0.2m,is built into the interior on the S side, (See sketch). Local knowledge says there was another possible HC, 300m to S. It was destroyed several years ago; the stones were robbed for gardens. <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].

The GIS spatial data was amended in 2018 to the location as shown on 2009 APs. <4>

A small-scale archaeological evaluation was carried out at the site in 2020 under the auspices of Gairloch Museum and directed by Dr. T Gardner. The work was carried out by a team consisting of professional archaeologists, Gairloch Museum staff and volunteers, and volunteers from the local community. An L-shaped trench measuring 1m wide and 11m total length was placed over the roundhouse in a way that exposed a 1m stretch of wall to the north, and another 1m stretch of wall to the west, while not encroaching on the newer bothy building within the roundhouse. The evaluation uncovered a relatively well-preserved archaeological record, with sealed deposits, some with stratigraphically secure charred plant macrofossils. Stone artefacts were also found in the form of several fire-cracked stones. The excavation revealed possible evidence for at least two distinct phases of roundhouse construction. The evaluation also managed to obtain material for radiocarbon dating. <1>

NOTE: the plan in the 2020 report showing the trench against the hut circle remains is incorrect. The trench has been incorrectly located on an earlier plan of the hut circle and this is evident when comparing the plan to how the site appears on vertical aerial photographs dating to 2021 [IS-L 23/04/2024].

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NG 8051 7662 (12m by 12m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG87NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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.