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South Uist, Howmore

Township (Period Unassigned)

Site Name South Uist, Howmore

Classification Township (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) South Uist, Tobha Mor

Canmore ID 126119

Site Number NF73NE 30

NGR NF 758 363

NGR Description centred on NF 758 363

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/126119

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NF73NE 30 centred on 758 363

A township comprising thirty-four roofed, two partially roofed and three unroofed buildings is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire, Hebrides, South Uist 1881, sheet l). Sixteen roofed, one partially roofed and eleven unroofed buildings are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1972).

Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 14 May 1997

NF 75861 36365 For two weeks in March 2006, I undertook an archaeological evaluation in advance of a proposed housing development at Howmore, South Uist, less than 50m to the SE of the sSheduled ancient monuments at Teampull Moire. The evaluation opened up seven small trenches (2 x 3m and 4 x 4m) on the top of a raised mound measuring 25 x 25m and lying within boggy surroundings. The mound was surrounded by a partially buried drystone revetting wall. There were also three ruined drystone buildings around the periphery of the mound. These were known locally to have been used for housing livestock at certain times of the year.

The evaluation revealed that the mound was natural in origin. Most trenches were archaeologically sterile with the exception of two on the very top of the mound where three roughly circular areas of rounded stone cobbles were placed to form levelled surfaces, each measuring approximately 1.5 x 1.5m where revealed in the trench. In addition there were two small stone arcs or semi-circles, and two short stone rows measuring less than 0.6m in length. All of these features were below the shallow topsoil and resting on subsoil that was interspersed with fragments of 20th-century willow pattern earthenware (including underneath the stones).

When asked to come and look at the site, the local landowner Donald Macneill recalled the use of this site as a hay yard. It became apparent that the revetting wall was constructed to keep animals out rather than in. The top of the mound was used periodically for the keeping of both hayricks and corn stacks. The levelled cobbled surfaces were laid in order to keep corn dry for feeding livestock, to prevent any rotting from below. The other stone features related to the traditional practice of raising hayricks, where a linear stone (sometimes wood) setting was used as a base for the ricks, again to prevent rotting, and the circular setting acted as a sort of central 'chimney' to allow air to circulate at the centre of the structure, therefore keeping it dry from the inside.

Copy to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsors: Mr Thomas Fisher and Mrs Julie Lewis.

Helen Bradley, 2006.

Activities

Archaeological Evaluation (March 2006)

NF 75861 36365 For two weeks in March 2006, I undertook an archaeological evaluation in advance of a proposed housing development at Howmore, South Uist, less than 50m to the SE of the sSheduled ancient monuments at Teampull Moire. The evaluation opened up seven small trenches (2 x 3m and 4 x 4m) on the top of a raised mound measuring 25 x 25m and lying within boggy surroundings. The mound was surrounded by a partially buried drystone revetting wall. There were also three ruined drystone buildings around the periphery of the mound. These were known locally to have been used for housing livestock at certain times of the year.

The evaluation revealed that the mound was natural in origin. Most trenches were archaeologically sterile with the exception of two on the very top of the mound where three roughly circular areas of rounded stone cobbles were placed to form levelled surfaces, each measuring approximately 1.5 x 1.5m where revealed in the trench. In addition there were two small stone arcs or semi-circles, and two short stone rows measuring less than 0.6m in length. All of these features were below the shallow topsoil and resting on subsoil that was interspersed with fragments of 20th-century willow pattern earthenware (including underneath the stones).

When asked to come and look at the site, the local landowner Donald Macneill recalled the use of this site as a hay yard. It became apparent that the revetting wall was constructed to keep animals out rather than in. The top of the mound was used periodically for the keeping of both hayricks and corn stacks. The levelled cobbled surfaces were laid in order to keep corn dry for feeding livestock, to prevent any rotting from below. The other stone features related to the traditional practice of raising hayricks, where a linear stone (sometimes wood) setting was used as a base for the ricks, again to prevent rotting, and the circular setting acted as a sort of central 'chimney' to allow air to circulate at the centre of the structure, therefore keeping it dry from the inside.

Copy to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsors: Mr Thomas Fisher and Mrs Julie Lewis.

H Bradley 2006

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