MHG9686 - Halladale Bridge


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

NC86SE 3 899 636.
(NC 8995 6363) Hut Circles (NR) (NC 8995 6353) Enclosure (NR) - 'A'. OS 6"map, (1964)

A settlement of four stone-walled huts (A - D) with a few stone clearance heaps (most evident to W) and several other structures of uncertain date.
'A' measures 13.5m diameter within a well-preserved boulder-faced wall averaging 1.6m thick. The entrance in SW, of which only NW side is preserved, faces into a probably contemporary stone-walled enclosure adjoining W arc. There are traces of at least one later rectangular building within hut. Abutting on E arc of hut is an elongated structure measuring 16m long by a maximum of 5.5m wide in N narrowing to 3.5m in S. Outside N arc are traces of two or three small stone structures of uncertain plan and date.
'B', is oval measuring 10.5m NW-SE by 8.5m transversely within a mutilated wall spread to 2.5m. There are two turf-covered heaps of stones in the interior.
'C' can scarcely be recognised as a hut. It survives as a grassy, hummocky area some 12m diameter edged by traces of a wall and occupied within by denuded later constructions of uncertain plan. Immediately N is an ill-defined rectangular structure 19.5m by 7m with bowed walls and rounded ends (? long house). A similar foundation, 14m by 7m, lies to SW.
'D' is 6m NNW-SSE by 4m within a wall obscured by peat. It has an ill-defined entrance in SSE.
At NC 8981 6356 ('E') on a rise on W edge of area of clearance heaps, is a mound about 7m diameter and 0.4m high whose position suggests it may be a cairn rather than a clearance heap.
Surveyed at 1:2500 (OS {A A} 1 11 1972)
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909; Visited by OS (WDJ) 5 May 1960 and (A A) 1 November 1972.

This settlement is generally as described above. Huts B and D are oval and of simple form, but A and C are more complex, each with an associated enclosure or partial enclosure formed by a single line of boulders on edge abutting the W side. A field, 35m by 26m, bounded by a wall of boulder construction occurs 40m NE of hut 'A'. The amorphous 'rectangular building' within A must be considered later, but the date and purpose of the sub-rectangular structures adjacent to A and C, or their association with the huts, remains unclear. They are less well-defined than the huts; the walls are at best 0.5m high with no trace of facing-stones. The suggestion that they may be long-houses is valid.
The possible cairn at NC 8981 6356 is as described. The ground around the huts is relatively smooth suggesting former cultivation, but no measurable field plots apart from the aforementioned field are discernible.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 30 August 1977.

'A' is referred to as a dun.
R J Mercer 1980.

'A' does not resemble a dun; the quality and quantity of material remaining does not indicate a wall of massive proportions and the situation is non-defensive. However, it differs from hut circles B - D of this site, and other huts in Highlands, in that it is unusually large and well-preserved, with both wall-faces exposed around most of circumference, yet the wall is thin in relation to the internal diameter and it does not display the splayed or bulbous entrance of the complex hut circle typified by the excavated hut V and Kilphedir (NC91NE 25). The site is difficult to interpret due to the intrusion of other structures some of which are probably of fairly recent date, but it appears to be some form of round-house of prehistoric date.
Visited by OS (N K B) 29 July 1981.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 8989 6359 (224m by 200m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC86SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

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