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North Uist, Portain

Cist (Prehistoric), Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric)(Possible), Midden (Period Unknown), Shieling Hut(S) (Medieval) - (Post Medieval)

Site Name North Uist, Portain

Classification Cist (Prehistoric), Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric)(Possible), Midden (Period Unknown), Shieling Hut(S) (Medieval) - (Post Medieval)

Canmore ID 10452

Site Number NF97SW 1

NGR NF 94725 70880

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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 ( - 30 June 1965)

NF97SW 1 centred 949 707.

A supposed cist is situated at Portain, W of Loch Grota, at the E base of a cliff. The covering slab bears four cup-marks, three of them in a row near its edge, the other being smaller and out of line. The slab is supported by other stones which appear to have been artificially placed (E Beveridge 1911).

Cup-mark symbols occur in frequent association with 'Food Vessel Burials'. This cist is not certainly of the short cist type.

(J V S Megaw and D D A Simpson 1963; E Beveridge 1911).

This cist was not located.

Visited by OS (R D) 30 June 1965.


Field Visit (22 July 1914)

Ruined Hut Circles, Slochd na Choire (Hollow of the Kettle), Loch Grota, Portain.

Amongst tumbled rocks at the foot of a rocky slope about 200 yards west of Loch Grota, at a place known as Slochd na Choire, are the dislodged remains of several small structures, probably hut circles. A number of limpet shells were noted in the vicinity.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 22 July 1914

OS map: North Uist xxxvi (unnoted)

Note (2 June 2019)

Date Fieldwork Started: 02/06/2019

Compiled by: ScRAP

Location Notes: The panel is situated in a stone tumble on the E side of a steep rocky scarp, close to the base of the slope. It is located in moorland on the S edge of a large mound of stones that includes a number of small sub-circular structures that are possibly sheiling huts or animal pens (see Newman D and Auger R, 2018, Six 'lost' Beveridge sites on North Uist rediscovered). The panel rests on top of two upright slabs and some stone tumble, creating a hollow space beneath it that Beveridge suggested was a cist, although it appears more likely to be a natural formation.

Panel Notes: This is a roughly triangular shaped slab of gneiss, measuring 1.9x0.8m and 0.5m thick. It juts out from the hillside and rests on two upright slabs and stone tumble. The gently sloping upper surface has an approximate alignment of 4 large circular and sub-circular depressions along its E edge, the largest measuring 10cm in diameter. The smallest of these, on the N end of the panel, is quite rough and may be natural whilst the other 3 may be cupmarks of uncertain date.


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