MHG9325 - Ceannabhaid


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC82NW 7 834 255.

('A': NC 83252562 'B': NC 83322561 'C': NC 83442557) Enclosure{NR}
('D': NC 83452553 'E': NC 83542552) Hut circles {NR}
OS 6"map, (1962)

NC 8354 2556 The remains of a post-Clearances sheepfold with the
outline of an earth and stone banked rectangular enclosure, 15.0m by 20.0m, on its E side. A possible rectangular building is attached to the enclosure.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 27 May 1961

Three enclosures and two hut circles discovered during field investigation.
Visited by OS (W D J) 24 May 1961

On the lower NE-facing slopes of Ceannabhaid, within the confines of the deserted township of Ceannabhaid, is a settlement comprising three stone-walled huts ('A', 'D' and 'E') and two complex huts (homesteads (B and C).
Hut 'A' is large and strongly constructed, set into the hill-slope.
From the evidence of a few surviving inner and outer facing stones, the hut appears to have been 10.5m in diameter within a wall 1.4m high and 3.5m wide. The entrance in the S arc is about 1.6m wide flanked by large stones. There appears to be projecting horns on either side producing a passage length of 5.5m. A turf-covered mound lies immediately outside the entrance almost blocking it, possibly the result of debris being cleared from the entrance at a later date. A later low straight field wall springs from the NW arc.
'B' is a double-celled homestead of unusual form, the cells divided by a relatively unimpressive wall. It appears to be of typical hut circle construction, boulder-faced with rubble infill, the wall surviving to 1.0m maximum height and spread to 2.5m. The entrance is probably indicted by three upright stones in line in the S arc, but this part of the feature is mutilated (see enlargement).
'C' is a homestead whose north part has been destroyed. What remains is a 'hut-like' semi-circle of walling, 1.0m high and spread to 2.8m, faced internally with boulder slabs on edge. Outside,and concentric to it,is a low heather-covered bank of stones 0.4m high, 1.5m wide. Its purpose cannot be determined. Immediately to the east are the remains of a squarish feature of similar construction to the semi-circle of walling. Only the east and part of the north and south walls survive, but presumably this and the 'hut-like' construction originally formed one unit. The entrance position was probably in the SE but there is mutilation here.
'D' and 'E' are similar being of the common hut circle type. 'D' is 8.5m in diameter with a wall surviving as a bank of earth and stone 2.5m wide in the N with the S half defined only by a slight rim. A set stone in the SE may indicate the position of the entrance.
'E' is about 10.0m in diameter within a denuded wall; large outer facing stones survive in the SE arc. A large slab set transversely across the wall in the SE indicates the entrance. A field bank springs from the E arc petering out after a metre and continuing as a lynchet.
The area around the huts had been cultivated more recently, and apart from a few clearance heaps there is no evidence of contemporary cultivation.
Visited by OS (JB) 14 Feburary 1977

There are at least five hut-circles (A, B, D, F, G) and three
enclosures (C, E, H) set on a series of slight natural terraces overlooking the boggy ground at the W end of Loch Ascaig and lying to the ESE of Ceannabhaid township (NC82NW 14). Small cairns, banks and lynchets are scattered across the better-drained ground.

A. NC 8325 2562 This hut-circle has been excavated by Curle (1911) and appears to either have two phases or an inter-mural cavity. It measures 10m in diameter within a stone-faced bank, 3.4m in thickness and up to 1.6m in height, which has intermittent depressed stretches along the centre of the bank. The S side of the interior is levelled into the slope. The entrance lies on the ESE. Although there may have been an external baffle wall this is not mentioned by Curle and it may be the spoil from the excavation of the interior and the entrance passage.
The saddle quern mentioned by Curle was not located on the date of vist (Curle 1991)
(KILD91 29).

B. NC 8332 2561 There are two distinct structural phases visible, both of which may be hut-circles, although the later structure is rather irregular. The earlier hut-circle measures 9.3m in diameter within a bank 2.8m in thickness and 1m in height. The entrance is on the ESE and the interior is terraced into the slope. The N side of the hut-circle is overlain by an oval enclosure measuring 8.5m from NW to SE by 4.6m transversely within a stone-faced bank 1.2m in thickness and 0.6m in height. The entrance lies on the ESE and is protected by a baffle wall.
(KILD91, 30, 31)

C. NC 8344 2557 This sub-rectangular enclosure measures 13.7m from E to W by 5.6m transversely within a stone-faced bank 3.4m in thickness and 0.8m in height. The entrance lies on the S and outside it there is what may be a reduced baffle wall.
(KILD91 36)

D. NC 8345 2553 This hut-circle measures 7.7m in diameter within a stone-faced bank 1.8m in thickness and 0.5m in height: the entrance lies on the SE.
(KILD91 37)

E. NC 8354 2552 This C-shaped enclosure measures 9.1m in diameter within a stone-faced bank 3m in thickness and 0.4m in height. There is a possible entrance on the E and the enclosure is open to the S.
(KILD91 34)

F. NC 8344 2563 This hut-circle measures 8.2m in diameter within a stony bank 1.3m in thickness and 0.2m in height. To the S and W there is an arcuate bank about 4m from the hut-circle and although there is no clear relationship, this may be the remains of an earlier structure. (KILD91 270)

G. NC 8348 2566 This hut-circle measures 10.7m in diameter within a stony bank 1.9m in thickness and 0.3m in height. The entrance is on the SE and a drain bisects the interior.
(KILD 269)

H. NC 8356 2556 This D-shaped enclosure measures 14m from NE to SW by 12.2m transversely within a bank 2m in thickness and 0.5m in height. It overlies the more southerly of two turf banks emanating from Ceannabhaid township, and there are amorphous fragments of what may be other structures in the vicinity.
(KILD91 35)

There are small cairns measuring up to 6m in diameter and 0.5m in height to the N and W of hut-circle 'G'. Much of the rest of the better-drained land, within two turf banks extending westwards from Ceannabhaid township, is ridged and there is a thin scatter of small cairns. To the SE of hut-circle 'E' there are at least three approximately parallel lynchets, set along the contour defining at least two plots, the central element of which may join the hut-circle bank.
(A O Curle 1911)
Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 7 March 1991.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NC 8340 2556 (348m by 211m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC82NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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.