MHG9312 - Askaig Township


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CORN DRYING KILN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Askaig (NAT) OS 6"map, (1963)

This depopulated township comprises sixteen buildings with associated enclosures and two corn drying-kilns. An area of approximately eighteen hectares bears evidence of cultivation.
Visited by OS (JB) 21 January 1977

The township of Askaig occupies NE-facing hill-side above upper reaches of the Borrobol Burn. The buildings are located in two clusters at either side of cultivated ground.
The cultivated ground, which extends for 450m from NE to SW up the hillside from the valley floor, is grass-covered, as opposed to the heather-cover elsewhere, and displays faint traces of rig and cultivation terraces, but has evidently been improved in more recent times. A head-dyke runs around the up-slope side of the cultivated area between the two settlement clusters and a lynchet runs along the bottom. A total of 19 buildings were recorded. In general they have drystone walls, although some are reduced to overgrown banks, and are rectangular in plan with squared ends; they measure between 2.4m and 3.4m in breadth and stand up to 0.6m in height. There are five long-buildings, between 28.6m and 32.8m in length, all built across the contour, and two have a small sub-division at the upper end (KILD91 253, 263/4). The smaller buildings range in length from 4m to 12.5m.
The more westerly of the two clusters comprises eight buildings and two kiln-barns, spread over some 350m from NE to SW with two foci, which may be viewed as farmsteads at NC 858 242 and NC 860 245. Each farmstead has a long-building, a kiln-barn and one or more out-buildings and small enclosures. The farmstead at NC 860 245 may include the trapezoidal enclosure attached to the hut-circle (NC82SE 18 B) a short distance to the W. Its kiln-barn is hidden in the syke that runs down the NW side of the township. The farmstead at NC 858 242 has been superceded by a large drystone enclosure, which has been built over the sides of three of the buildings and the kiln-barn.
The E cluster also comprises eight buildings and two kiln-barns, and includes traces of at least three long-buildings, one of which (KILD91 263/4) has been superceded and is overlain by a bank. Two enclosures, each of which included a kiln-barn and a building of more than 10m in length, forming foci at NC 862 242 and 863 242, possibly the location of farmsteads in conjunction with one of the long-buildings.
The kiln-barns are between 5m and 6.2m in length and 2.6m to 3m in breadth, each with a kiln in their upper end, whose bowls measure between 1.1m and 1.5m in diameter (KILD91 244, 256, 257, 262).
An amorphous heap of slag lies in the midst of the cultivated ground at NC 8600 2425, which extends to some 12m from E to W by 5m transversely and stands to 0.5m in height (KILD91 267).
The lands of Askaig are listed in a grant of the earldom of Sutherland in 1566 in conjunction with those of Learable and Borrobol (Reg Sec
Sig V 1556-67). The Hearth Tax return of 1690 lists five tenants at Askaig each with one hearth (SRO E69/12/1). Askaig is included in a Wadset of 1744 with Learable (Nat Lib Scot Sutherland MSS Dep 313/307) but it does not appear in early 19th century rentals (Adam 1972 I, App. A, 226-8). The township was presumably one of several cleared in 1813, when the lands S of the Free Water and W of the River Helmsdale as far as Kilearnan were turned over to make the sheep-farm of Kilcalmkill (Adam 1972).
Reg Sec Sig V, No.2718; R J Adam 1972 I, lvii.
(KILD91 243-4, 248, 250-267)
Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 4 May 1991.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 8600 2420 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC82SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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.