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Balblair Wood

Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Balblair Wood

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

Canmore ID 13026

Site Number NH59NE 5

NGR NH 583 957

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Creich (Sutherland)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NH59NE 5 583 957.

Balblair Wood - A small group of mounds about 18' in diameter, on a hill slope about 1/4 mile E of Invershin Station.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

Centred at NH 583 957 on a south westerly facing hillside is a settlement of 7 stone-walled huts ('A' - 'G') and an associated field system.

Hut 'F' is oval on plan, the rest circular.

The entrance to hut 'C' is in the SE, but cannot be determined in the others. The diameters of huts 'A' to 'E' are measured between wall centres.

Hut 'A' is on the brink of a natural scarp and is mutilated. It measures about 12.0m in diameter with walls spread to 3.0m in the N, but barely visible elsewhere.

'B' on a shelf, about 10.0m in diameter, with walls spread to 2.5m in the E widening to 4.0m on the downhill side on the W.

'C' is set into the slope and measures about 11.0m in diameter, with walls spread to 2.5m in the N and to 3.5m down the slope in the S. The entrance in the SE is mutilated by a fence.

'D', on a shelf, measures about 10.0m in diameter, but is so mutilated that the wall thickness cannot be determined. The interior is occupied by a later sub-rectangular structure.

'E', on a slight knoll, is mutilated and measures about 12.0m in diameter with wall spread to 3.0m on the E but elsewhere are barely visible. Within the hut, on the S side, is a stone clearance heap.

'F' is visible as a level platform, oval on plan, measuring about 10.5m N to S by 9.0m transversely. It is bounded by a scarp on the higher E side and traces of rubble walling around the rim on the lower W side. "G" is similar to 'F', but is not so well defined and measures about 9.5m in diameter.

The field system, marked by a scatter of stone clearance heaps, amongst them the "mounds" described by RCAHMS, is confined to dry rises and lies mainly to the N of the settlement. There are no lynchets or field walls, but cultivation plots, average size 20.0m by 15.0m, can be discerned formed partly by the clearance heaps and partly by the extent of the available dry ground.

Visited by OS (R L) 15 October 1969.

'F' is not a hut circle but probably a cultivation plot measuring about 18.0m N-S by about 11.0m. The negative lynchet in the E and the positive lynchet on the W are well-defined and have been mistaken for hut walls. 'G' is another similar but less well-defined cultivation plot.

Huts 'A' - 'E' surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (I S S) 24 September 1973.

No change to previous field report.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (J M) 4 November 1976.

The hut-circles survive as previously described but much of the field-system to the N of the Allt Port na Lice has been destroyed by the creation of a forestry plantation.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) October 1989.


Field Visit (5 October 1909)

75. Balblair Wood.

On the slope of the hill, about ¼ m. E. of lnvershin Station, is a small group of mounds of about 18' in diameter.

OS 6-inch map, Sutherland, Sheet cviii. (unnoted).

RCAHMS 1911, visited (AOC) 5th October 1909.


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