Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Date March 2012 - October 2012

Event ID 993964

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NG 8077 7693 Achtercairn (2) and (3) Hut Circles (Wedig 6) These previously unrecorded hut circles lie in deep heather at the foot of a prominent NW-facing slope, known locally as Meall na h-Iolaire. The remains consist of a low heather covered ring bank c10m in overall diameter, with a possible entrance facing to the SE. The site was cleared of heather prior to excavation. A second ring of boulders lies 40m to the NE. This site (Achtercairn 3) consists of a ring of boulders 6m in overall diameter, which appears to be sitting directly on the ground surface. A total of four trenches were excavated. A single trench placed across Achtercairn 2, two soil trenches, and a small test trench in Achtercairn.

Trench 1 placed across Achtercairn 2 on a cN–S alignment recorded a fine orthostat faced wall, with a boulder fill, on the N and S side. A well built buttress supported the downhill N wall. A compacted clay floor butted up to the inner face of the walls. An oval hearth area, (char filled black earth), lay roughly central to the interior space. A second hearth, constructed of stone, which post dated the clay floor, lay against the inner face of the N wall. Lifting of the clay floor revealed a truncated posthole which still retained its post pad c1.25m in from the S inner wall face. A second truncated posthole was found 1.25m inside the N inner wall face. Removal of the wall stones showed that the stone wall was a secondary feature and that an earth walled roundhouse predated the stone structure. Small finds included a large ovoid light use pounder.

A 1m2 trench (Trench 2) was placed c10m NE of the roundhouse, but was abandoned due to geological difficulties. A second soil profile trench (Trench 3) was excavated c10m W of the roundhouse.

Trench 4 was placed in a circular stone setting (Achtercairn 3) c40m downslope of the roundhouse. Excavation showed that the stone setting was not a structured wall but a surface setting of boulders encircling an area of red loamy soil. Within the stone setting was a small cobbled area, which showed no signs of burning, but was associated with well defined areas of charcoal and many chunky quartz fragments, later identified as a worked quartz assemblage.

Website (accessed October 2014).

Archive: Inverness archive (intended)

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund and Highland Council

Anna Welti, Lochbroom Field Club, 2013

(Source: DES)

People and Organisations