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North Uist, Balelone

Souterrain (Iron Age)

Site Name North Uist, Balelone

Classification Souterrain (Iron Age)

Alternative Name(s) Kilpheder; Bhaile Loin; Varlish; Bharlais

Canmore ID 10127

Site Number NF77SW 7

NGR NF 7195 7408

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/10127

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish North Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF77SW 7 7195 7408.

(NF 7197 7407) Erd Houses (NR) (Site of)

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

At Kilpheder, coastal erosion has revealed thin layers of kitchen-midden and traces of a slight single wall, which curves in a northerly direction for several yards and seems to represent part of the underground linings of one of the earth-houses indicated by the OS. Finds from the former site include potsherds, hammer-stones, iron slag and a single cut-marked bone.

A potsherd and an oval pebble fragment are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

E Beveridge 1911; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1916 and 1922.

At NF 7195 7408 a dune has been eroded by the sea, exposing a sand face c. 30.0m long. Midden material, a burnt layer about 1 1/2inches thick and building remains (probably of an earth-house) are exposed in the face. See plan and section. There are insufficient remains to justify survey action.

The second earth-house was not located.

Visited by OS (J T T) 16 June 1965.

Activities

Desk Based Assessment (7 April 1965)

(NF 7197 7407) Erd Houses (NR) (Site of)

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

At Kilpheder, coastal erosion has revealed thin layers of kitchen-midden and traces of a slight single wall, which curves in a northerly direction for several yards and seems to represent part of the underground linings of one of the earth-houses indicated by the OS. Finds from the former site include potsherds, hammer-stones, iron slag and a single cut-marked bone.

A potsherd and an oval pebble fragment are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

Information from OS (BRS) 7 April 1965

E Beveridge 1911; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1916 and 1922.

Field Visit (16 June 1965)

At NF 7195 7408 a dune has been eroded by the sea, exposing a sand face c. 30.0m long. Midden material, a burnt layer about 1 1/2inches thick and building remains (probably of an earth-house) are exposed in the face. See plan and section. There are insufficient remains to justify survey action.

The second earth-house was not located.

Visited by OS (J T T) 16 June 1965.

Field Visit (3 December 2015)

The site is not as described, there has been a big blow out of the dune, exposing a number of features in plan.

This is substantial and full of shells of all types, but the original description suggests this was at the coast edge when originally surveyed in 2005.

Below and to the W of this are the remains of a stone walled cellular structure eroding out of the seaward midden face. This has a curved back wall in coursed stonework with collapsed forward projecting walls either side, indicating an internal dia. of c. 4m. This is perhaps the 'possible souterrain' referred to in the first SCAPE survey.

A few m to the E of this at a higher level (left in image) is the outline of a cruciform plan stone setting c. 10 x 5m with the stone lines c. 1.5m apart. Modern beach sculpture or ??.

Towards the S end of the main midden is a single seemingly quarried slab c 1.5m long and 0.3-0.4 m thick lying on top of what appears to be another stone structure. Further S from that, the midden reappears with suggestions of other stone walls nearby.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 3 December 2015

References

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