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Doir' A' Bhaird

Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Cultivation Remains (Post Medieval), Enclosure(S) (Prehistoric) - (Post Medieval), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Shieling Hut(S) (Post Medieval), Township (Post Medieval)

Site Name Doir' A' Bhaird

Classification Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Cultivation Remains (Post Medieval), Enclosure(S) (Prehistoric) - (Post Medieval), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Shieling Hut(S) (Post Medieval), Township (Post Medieval)

Canmore ID 11766

Site Number NG78SE 1

NGR NG 773 802

NGR Description Centred on NG 77 80 and NG 78 81

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Gairloch
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NG78SE 1.00 77 80 to 78 81.

NG78SE 1.01 centred NG 773 803 Township

NG78SE 1.02 centred NG 783 813 Shieling-huts; Enclosures

NG78SE 1.03 centred NG 77 80 to 78 81 Hut-circles; Enclosures; Small Cairns

(NG 773 802) An ancient settlement (c. 3000 B.C.) in an area of some 40 acres, is situated 1,350 yards from Loch-an-t-Seano-bhalle and 1,600 yards from Loch na Lairig. The remains of at least four beehive huts exist, three of which appear to be undisturbed. The fourth has about half of the perimeter wall dismantled. An 'altar' stone weighing some 4-5 tons extensive walling and a long mound were noted.

Information in letter from W J Mitchell (AO/c/xm) to OS 9 September 1964

From NG 768 800 to NG 786 814 there are the remains of a probable IA settlement area occupied later as shielings followed by more recent (pre-1850) occupation.

The probable IA settlement is indicated by some twenty hut-circles widely scattered, two enclosures and fragmentary traces of field walls of stone. The huts vary in condition from mere boulder outlines to substantial stone walls and in size from 6.0m - 13.0m overall diameter with entrances where evident in the E segment. Several have a small compartment either attached to the outer or inner face of the enclosing wall. The best preserved is at NG 7793 8090. It is 11.5m in overall diameter and is formed by a heather covered stone wall, with inner and outer facings 2.4m thick and c. 0.7m high with a well defined entrance on the E side. Two short stretches of wall extend NW & NE from the hut, between the W side of the NE wall and the outer face of the wall is a small sub-triangular compartment.

The larger of the enclosures is situated at NG 7758 8045. It measures 17.5m E-W x 16.0m N-S overall and now consists of two concentric walls of stone, 2.3m apart (but which may have been 2.3m thick) and 0.5m max height. No definite entrance was established.

The occupation of the area as shielings is shown by the presence of some thirty shieling bothies, two of which have been constructed within older hut-circles. The bothies, built of stone, are either rectangular or boat-shaped with an average size of 5.0m x 3.0m x 0.3m, although one measures 9.0m x 4.0m. Above the modern sheepfold at NG 782 813 the shieling area has been partially enclosed by a stone dyke, the foundations of which are quite distinct.

Later occupation of the area is indicated by the remains of rectangular stone walled buildings, an enclosure, small fields or paddocks, large stock enclosures and the remains of an enclosing dyke of earth and stone extending from the Allt Mor at NG 7732 8056 to the River Sand at NG 7688 8009. There are four buildings (area NG 7736 8035) varying in size from 6.0m x 3.5m to 9.0m x 4.0m with an average wall height of 0.6m. The enclosure (at NG 7731 8036) measures 12.0m x 5.0m x 0.8m and has a rectangular compartment 6.0m x 3.0m within its NE angle. The fields are enclosed by turf covered stone walls and the stock enclosures by substantial boulder walls. Two of the large stock enclosures and one of the small fields have a small compartment (3m x 2m average size) built against the inside of the enclosing wall.

Two types of stone clearance were noted within the area. Firstly, the usual gathering of the stones into small heaps, now heather-covered, and secondly, on ground thickly covered by stones and rock fragments, small cultivation plots have been created here and there by simply throwing the stones aside.

Mr W Mitchell, proprietor, Gairloch Sands Estate, pointed out a small (5.0m x 3.0m) 'D' shaped stone compartment attached to the inside of the large enclosure wall at NG 7723 8045 as a "beehive". Mr Mitchell said that there were four such "beehives" in the area but these are merely stone-built boat-shaped or sub-rectangular structures and are included in the features surveyed or mentioned previously.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 October 1964.

Additional features discovered in 1990 include:

at NG 7742 8039 and NG 7744 8026 Sub-circular stone walled houses.

and at NG 7718 8026 house platform.

Late medieval, post clearance remains include: enclosure banks, enclosed fields, sheep shelters, lambing pens, rectangular houses. New stretches of field banks were located and adjustments made to the alignment and amount of enclosure as published on the 1:10560 OS map.

Sponsor: Glenfiddich Living Scotland Award, per Gairloch Heritage Trust. L J Masters 1990.


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