MHG8445 - Loch Eye


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH87NW 5 822 790.
A prolonged dry spell caused water level of Loch Eye to fall and in October 1972 some scores of circular stone features were seen. These varied between 2m and 5m diameter and were revealed above and just below water level on both N and S shores. Air photography suggests that they are distributed along an old shore line that became flooded when perhaps the water level was raised to power a mill during the Middle Ages. Some circles have narrow and insubstantial stone causeways leading to them from higher ground, suggesting that their surroundings were damp but not waterlogged. The features consist of up to 4 or more rows of stone arranged in a hollow circle. A few appear to have an entrance on S or SE, but majority are without. Although some are large enough to be hut circles, very small size (diameters of barely 2m) of many makes their function problematical. No artifacts could be associated with them.
I W Stuart 1972.

There are at least 20 of these structures concentrated in area centred at NH 822 790, and they are mostly still under 1 or 2' of water and mud and only visible by wading. Other isolated examples occur along NW shore at NH 821 793, and others at NH 825 792. According to Mrs Menzies (Mounteagle, Ross-shire) others have been reported along S shore towards E end of loch, but only 2 or 3 possible denuded examples were seen at NH 835 795 and NH 838 796. Both circular and sub-rectangular on plan, the structures vary between 6m and 2m diameter with rectangular ones averaging 4m by 3m. Occasionally there is a cluster of 3 or 4 adjoining, but they are mainly singular. The walls are of small boulder construction reduced to tumbled debris with no signs of facing stones. There are traces of other (? field) walls, and occasional patches of stones c3m diameter (? hayrick stances). Infra-red APs taken by both DoE and RAF Lossiemouth (Info from Mrs Menzies) will probably show precise lay-out. Mrs Menzies has some pieces of medieval glass from site. The structures appear to be footings of bothies of shieling type, and occur on original margin of loch and must have been flooded when level was raised by monks of Fearn Abbey. Visited by OS (A A) 24 October 1972.

Possibly flax ponds, fowling hides, but could be hut-circles (info from E Macnamara).
E Rowell 1977, 22.

This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 8219 7900 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH87NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish FEARN

Finds (1)


Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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