MHG9779 - Earth House & Runic Inscript, Cos Ceumach


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • SOUTERRAIN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • RUNE STONE (Undated)
  • MIDDEN (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Cos Ceumach (NAT) Earth house (NR)
OS 6"map, (1964)

This earth house was examined by Simpson 1864. The entrance passage opened on the steep bank of the burn about 4ft from top. It was composed of dry-stone walling and was 2ft square diminishing in height after a distance of 7ft to 18 inches. Beyond this were two chambers, one behind the other, separated by a wall 2ft high. Runic letters are cut on one of the stones "which was removed to Kintradwell". The inner chamber, which was filled with midden material, terminated at a flight of 7 steps leading upwards.
In 1909, when the RCAHMS visited site, only the end chamber was accessible. It was 5ft high, 4ft broad and 10ft long. The Runic stone had been lost.
The RCAHMS (1911) follows the New Statistical Account (NSA 1845) in naming the earth house "Coshgeavag", while the J MacKay (1894) though naming it "Cosh-ceavaig", suggest that it should properly be "Cos-camhaig". All forms may be translated as "the cave of small caves". NSA (writteb by Rev D Ross) 1845; J Y Simpson 1865; J MacKay 1894; RCAHMS 1911.

Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (W D J) 4 April 1962.

All that can be seen of this souterrain is the entrance passage for about 2m; the chambers are no longer accessible but depressions immediately to W of the entrance and about 1om to the NW probably indicate position of a collapsed chamber and second entrance. The vague turf-covered footings of a sub-rectangular structure measuring 8.0m by 6.0m occur over the earth house, with which it is possibly contemporary.
The conflict regarding the correct spelling of the name cannot be resolved locally. Visited by OS (J B) 8 December 1975.

A fusiform bead, 0.5 ins long, of streaky, opague light blue glass was found near the souterrain and was presented to Dunrobin Museum by Major Houston (Acc No: 1880.9).
Information contained in TS of Catalogue of Dunrobin Museum, by A S Henshall.

The bead was catalogued during an inventory of Dunrobin Castle Museum's collection in 2019 by ARCH. Listed under Acc. No. 1880.9. It is on display in case 25, shelf C. <1>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NC 9186 0765 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC90NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish LOTH

Finds (2)

  • RUNE STONE (Undated)
  • BEAD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

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.