MHG8289 - Hut circle - Achadh Na H-Aodainn (Doir 'a' Bhaird (Sand West 4))


A modified hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A modified hut circle at Doir 'a' Bhaird.

(NG 773 802) An ancient settlement (c3000 BC) in an area of some 40 acres, is situated 1,350 yards from Loch-an-t-Seano-bhalle and 1,600 yards from Loch na Lairig. The remains of at least 4 beehive huts exist, 3 of which appear to be undisturbed. The fourth has about half of the perimeter wall dismantled. An 'altar' stone weighing some 4-5 tons extensive walling and a long mound were noted.
Info in letter from W J Mitchell (AO/c/xm) to OS 9 9 1964

NG78SE 1.03 77 80 to 78 81
From NG 768800 to NG 786814 there are remains of a probable IA settlement area occupied later as shielings followed by more recent (pre-1850) occupation.
The probable IA settlement is indicated by some 20 hut-circles widely scattered, two enclosures and fragmentary traces of field walls of stone. The huts vary in condition from mere boulder outlines to substantial stone walls and in size from 6m-13m overall diameter with entrances where evident in the E segment. Several have a small compartment either attached to outer or inner face of the enclosing wall. The best preserved is at NG 7793 8090. It is 11.5m in overall diameter and is formed by a heather covered stone wall, with inner and outer facings 2.4m thick and c. 0.7m high with a well defined entrance on the E side. Two short stretches of wall extend NW & NE from hut, between W side of NE wall and outer face of wall is a small sub-triangular compartment.
The larger of the enclosures is situated at NG 7758 8045. It measures 17.5m E-W x 16m N-S overall and now consists of two concentric walls of stone, 2.3m apart (but which may have been 2.3m thick) and 0.5m max height. No definite entrance was established.
Two types of stone clearance were noted within the area. Firstly, the usual gathering of the stones into small heaps, now heather-covered, and secondly, on ground thickly covered by stones and rock fragments, small cultivation plots have been created here and there by simply throwing the stones aside.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 October 1964.

'House platform, reused' located here by R Wentworth (no details given). L J Masters 1990. <1>

176620 880326 Sand West 4 JCG001: The hut circle was visited by J Guest and G Sleight in 2009 as part of research for a dissertation on hut circles in Wester Ross by A Welti. There are over 30 probable hut circles in the area around Sand River and its tributaries. The land may have been especially fertile as, at the end of the Ice Age, the path of the ice retreat from the furthest points of the Wester Ross Readvance follows the areas of clustering of the recorded Sand River hut circles. The melting ice would have dropped many rocks of all sizes together with a variety of minerals. The landscape would thus have contained easily accessed building materials on fertile ground. This circular stone structure JCG001 is in poor condition. The surrounding landscape is mainly heather covered with some grass. JCG001 is 500m from a stream and 200m from River sand. Field boundaries can be identified. Inside the structure there is a mixture of bracken, grass and moss. The platform is dug into and built out from a natural terrace with surrounding moderate south facing slopes. Views from the site are panoramic over the River Sand and inland. The HC seems to have been much altered; the wall to the north has been straightened and most of the stone has been robbed out. The banking is steeply revetted to the southern quadrants. Average inner diameter is 5.3m, external diameter is 7.9m. The doube skinned wall is 1.2m thick with maximum height 0.5m. The probable entrance faces southeast; its width could not be measured, passage length measures 2.1m, indicating extended terminals. JCG001is distant 300m from both GS001 (see MHG57464) and GS002 (see MHG57465), and 800m from GS003 (see MHG57466). <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].

NGR adjusted in 2017 to position as seen on 2009 vertical APs. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 7661 8033 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG78SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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.