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Strath Sgitheach

Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Strath Sgitheach

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Strath Sgitheach 2 (Cup-markings); Allt Na Raichean

Canmore ID 12921

Site Number NH56SW 11

NGR NH 514 626

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NH56SW 11 514 626.

Centred at NH 514 626 on a generally SE-facing slope is a settlement of seven oval stone-walled huts (A - G).

Hut 'A', on a knoll, survives as a platform, c. 11.5m NW-SE by c. 10.0m bounded by traces of a wall. Several outer facing stones are visible in the W arc. The position of the entrance is not evident.

'B' is c. 13.0m NNW-SSE by c. 11.0m between the centres of a wall of indeterminate thickness, with one or two outer and inner facing stones visible in the SW arc. The entrance cannot be seen. A field wall joins the hut in the SE arc.

'C' is c. 11.5m NNW-SSE by c. 9.5m between the centres of a wall of indefinite thickness, with the outer face visible intermittently around the S arc. The mutilated entrance is in the SSE.

'D' measures c. 13.0m NNW-SSE by c. 11.0m between the centres of a wall of uncertain thickness, which has been extensively robbed revealing the inner face of contiguous stones around the E arc. Occasional outer facing stones occur around the W arc. The entrance in the SSE is mutilated.

'E' is c. 13.0m NW-SE by c. 11.0m between the centres of a wall of indeterminate thickness. The ill-defined entrance is in the SE.

'F' is c. 9.5m NW-SE by c. 7.5m between the centres of a wall of indeterminate thickness. The ill-defined entrance is in the SE.

'G' measures c. 13.0m NW-SE by c. 10.0m between the centres of a denuded wall. The entrance is in the SE.

About 100.0m S of hut 'B' are traces of a platform c. 12.0m in diameter (marked 'X' on 6" sheet). Around the W arc is a discontinuous line of stones, possibly the outer wall face of a hut. There are several stone clearance heaps and field walls apparent, particularly in the vicinity of huts B, C and D, but no measurable cultivation plots can be seen because of a heavy growth of peat.

Visited by OS (N K B) 18 DEcember 1970.

Within the settlement and centred at NH 5150 6255 are six cup marked rocks (marked 1 - 6 on 6" plan)

1: Has 1 good cup mark and 2 possible cup marks.

2: Has 2 good cup marks and 2 possible cup marks.

3: At least 6 cup marks, but there is the slight possibility that they could be due to weathering.

4: Has 14 good cup marks.

5: Has 8 good cup marks.

6: Has 4 good, and 1 probable, cup marks.

Surveyed at 1:10560.

Visited by OS (I S S) 13 September 1973.

No change to previous field report.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (J B) 16 November 1976.

This group of at least seven hut circles and numerous small cairns was largely obscured by heather at the date of visit; there is also a group of six cup-marked boulders within this area.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1978.

Hut circles A-G are generally as described. Their individual positions (surveyed at 1:2500) are as follows:

hut 'A': NH 5171 6256; 'B':NH 5140 6263; 'C':NH 5137 6269;

'D':NH 5132 6268; 'E':NH 5146 6281; 'F':NH 5151 6282; 'G':NH 5139 6290. Two additional hut circles were noted.

'H', at NH 5160 6230, occupies a level terrace at the foot of the slope above the flood plain. It is c.9.0m in diameter between the centres of walls of indeterminate thickness. Much of the circuit of outer facing-stones survives. The entrance may have been in the SE.

Hut 'J', at NH 5156 6291, is represented only by a curving arc of a stony bank, which may represent the collapsed wall of a hut circle c.9.0m in diameter. This hut circle is surrounded by clearance heaps and short linear banks 3m to 5m long.

These fill the area between the two burns on either side of the hut circles, but do not form any obvious field-system.

The possible hut platform noted by OS S of hut B was not convincing. Cup-marked stones '1'-'4' were not located; stones '5' and '6' were as described, but their grid references should be amended to:

'5':NH 5158 6259; '6':NH 5165 6254.

An additional five cup-marked stones were located.

'7', at NH 5167 6246, has 8 good cup-marks and 2 possible ones.

'8', at NH 5138 6266, has 3 good cup-marks and 2 possible ones.

'9', at NH 5131 6248, is a large boulder with a flat upper surface, 1.6m by 1.0m, which had 30 good cup-marks and 5 possible ones.

'10', at NH 5145 5256, has 10 cup-marks, 4 of which are exceptionally large, ie 0.12m in diameter and 0.07m deep.

'11', at NH 5134 6266, has 8 good cup-marks and 2 possible ones.

The various field boundaries (shown on plan) all consist of collapsed turf-covered stone walls which spread between 1.0m and 2.0m, and follow wandering lines dictated by the topography.

Visited June 1989.

Information from S T Driscoll and S M Foster (Mss, 1-3, Nos. 1.1-1.4.) 1989.


Project (June 1989)

Pre-afforestation archaeological survey undertaken in Strath Sgitheach, funded by HBM SDD.

S T Driscoll and S M Foster, 1989.


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