MHG8465 - Roundhouse or Possible Dun - Wester Rarichie


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) DUN (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH87SW 8 8406 7366.
250m W of fort (MHG8467) is a hillock, on top of which are slight remains of a bank; inner side forms an eroded lip of turf falling steeply into a depression which is up to 0.5m deep. The whole is about 12m NW-SE by 11m transversely. The depression is broken only at SE, from which issues a track to S base of hillock. At NW part of the bank is a flat portion some 6ft by 9ft; otherwise the artificial hollow takes up whole of top. Apart from a trace near the eroded position on NE face, there appears to be no other artificial bank or ditch - and this too, may be natural.
Info from J Howdle to OS, 29 August 1961;
Visible on RAF Aps CPE/Scot/UK/223: 4149-50: 27 June 1947.

This structure crowns top of a prominent knoll which has been levelled to accommodate it. It consists of a circular turf-covered rubble wall spread to an average of 5m and measures overall 20m diameter. There is a mutilated entrance gap in E. There is no doubt that it has been a dwelling, similar to that overlying fort to SE (MHG44719; MHG8467), and is probably best classififed as a homestead.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (A A) 18 September 1964.

(NH 8406 7366) Homestead (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1981)

A circular structure in a good defensive position on summit of a knoll, as described by previous OS field surveyor. It is very similar to dun some 250m to E (MHG44719) in respect of its position, size and condition, and for same reason is itself more likely to be a dun than a hut circle, though it is severely reduced. A curving line of base course of an outer wall face, 2.2m long, is exposed in side of knoll c1m below summit level in SW periphery of structure. This may indicate a part of structure, in which case wall at this point is spread to 6m - 8m or it may be remains of an outer defence. There is no other evidence for a possible outer work. Listed as a dun (RCAHMS 1979). RCAHMS 1979; Visited by OS (N K B) 10 March 1981.

This site can be seen in the background of an oblique aerial photograph by Jim Bone. <1>

Geophysical and measured surveys were undertaken At Easter and Wester Rarichie in January 2013 by a team from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. Digital measured survey plans of both hills were created and magnetometer and resistivity surveys undertaken on Easter Rarichie hill and the fields between the hills. Two phases of archaeological excavations and further geophysical surveys were undertaken in April and July 2013. On Wester Rarichie a single trench was excavated through the summit roundhouse. This identified the structure as a turf walled roundhouse. Within the interior a series of postholes and one end of a possible rectangular structure with a well-worn entrance way were identified. Midden or hearth material back-filling two of these postholes was radiocarbon dated to the period c. BC 730 – 400. Animal bone, burnt clay and a fragment of cannel coal bracelet was recovered from postholes within the interior of the house. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 8406 7366 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH87SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish NIGG

Finds (2)

  • BRACELET (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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