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Midtown

Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Field System (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Midtown

Classification Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Field System (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 13250

Site Number NH63SW 19

NGR NH 630 334

NGR Description Centred at NH 630 334

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/13250

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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Dores
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH63SW 19 630 334

Between Loch Ashie and Midtown are numerous cairns, hut circles, old enclosures, and a network of old dykes (ISSFC 1898). Woodham notes five hut circles in the area (A-E) and numerous small cairns (Information from A A Woodham to OS 9 August 1963)

In the area centred at NH 630 334, on undulating moorland, there is a settlement of five, circular, stone-walled huts (A-E) and an associated field system. (All hut diameters are given between wall centres).

Hut 'A', on the top of the knoll, measures c. 11.0m in diameter, and is mutilated. Although inner and outer faces are occasionally visible giving a wall thickness of 1.7m in the NW arc, insufficient remains for reliable overall measurement. The entrance in the E is mutilated.

Huts 'B' and 'C', on the top of a knoll, are contiguous.

'B' is c. 11.0m in diameter with a denuded wall of indeterminate thickness. The entrance in the E arc is ill-defined.

'C' is c. 12.0m in diameter, bounded by a wall of indeterminate thickness, in which one or two facing stones are visible, but insufficient to allow accurate overall measurement. The SE arc is destroyed and no entrance is apparent. A ruined field wall extends in a NE direction, apparently from the N side of the entrance of hut 'B', although mutilation at this point makes this uncertain, and the relationship of the wall to hut 'C' cannot be ascertained.

'D' is c. 11.0m in diameter with a denuded wall spread to c. 2.0m all round. The entrance in the E arc is ill-defined. Outside the hut to the S of the entrance is a boulder against which field clearance has been piled.

'E' measures c. 7.5m in diameter, bounded by a denuded wall of indeterminate thickness. To the N side of the 'simple' entrance in the E, c. 1.0m wide, is a mound, probably a stone clearance heap, c. 3.0m in diameter, but it is uncertain whether it lies against the hut wall or overlies it.

The field system comprises stone clearance heaps, lynchets and ruined field walls (previously noted as cairns and old dykes) forming cultivation plots, two of which, in the vicinity of hut 'A', measure c. 40.0m by c. 20.0m and 30.0m by c. 13.0m. The E side of the system is bounded by a contemporary ruined wall similar to that associated with NH63SW 39.

Huts A-E surveyed at 1:2500.(Visited by OS (R D L) 2 September 1963) Huts A-C

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (N K B) 13 February 1970.

Activities

Field Visit (13 February 1970)

Between Loch Ashie and Midtown are numerous cairns, hut circles, old enclosures, and a network of old dykes (ISSFC 1898). Woodham notes five hut circles in the area (A-E) and numerous small cairns (Information from A A Woodham to OS 9 August 1963)

In the area centred at NH 630 334, on undulating moorland, there is a settlement of five, circular, stone-walled huts (A-E) and an associated field system. (All hut diameters are given between wall centres).

Hut 'A', on the top of the knoll, measures c. 11.0m in diameter, and is mutilated. Although inner and outer faces are occasionally visible giving a wall thickness of 1.7m in the NW arc, insufficient remains for reliable overall measurement. The entrance in the E is mutilated.

Huts 'B' and 'C', on the top of a knoll, are contiguous.

'B' is c. 11.0m in diameter with a denuded wall of indeterminate thickness. The entrance in the E arc is ill-defined.

'C' is c. 12.0m in diameter, bounded by a wall of indeterminate thickness, in which one or two facing stones are visible, but insufficient to allow accurate overall measurement. The SE arc is destroyed and no entrance is apparent. A ruined field wall extends in a NE direction, apparently from the N side of the entrance of hut 'B', although mutilation at this point makes this uncertain, and the relationship of the wall to hut 'C' cannot be ascertained.

'D' is c. 11.0m in diameter with a denuded wall spread to c. 2.0m all round. The entrance in the E arc is ill-defined. Outside the hut to the S of the entrance is a boulder against which field clearance has been piled.

'E' measures c. 7.5m in diameter, bounded by a denuded wall of indeterminate thickness. To the N side of the 'simple' entrance in the E, c. 1.0m wide, is a mound, probably a stone clearance heap, c. 3.0m in diameter, but it is uncertain whether it lies against the hut wall or overlies it.

The field system comprises stone clearance heaps, lynchets and ruined field walls (previously noted as cairns and old dykes) forming cultivation plots, two of which, in the vicinity of hut 'A', measure c. 40.0m by c. 20.0m and 30.0m by c. 13.0m. The E side of the system is bounded by a contemporary ruined wall similar to that associated with NH63SW 39.

Huts A-E surveyed at 1:2500.(Visited by OS (R D L) 2 September 1963) Huts A-C

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (N K B) 13 Feburary 1970

Field Visit (6 October 1992)

In rough ground to the N of the public road from Dunlichity to Dores, opposite Midtown farmsteading, there are four hut-circles lying within a field-system comprising banks and small cairns. The OS identified a further hut-circle ('E') but this has been reclassified as a robbed small cairn.

The hut-circles range between 8.8m and 9.5m in diameter within stony banks up to 1.75m in thickness and 0.4m in height; all have entrances in the E quadrant. The most southerly hut-circle (USN93 103, OS 'A') occupies the crest of a knoll and appears to have been partially excavated. Two of the hut-circles lie close to one another (USN93 101-2, OS 'B' and 'C'); the more southerly of the two occupies the top of a levelled knoll, while the other has a scooped interior with an unusually wide entrance, possibly indicating that the side has been reused as a stock enclosure.

The field-system extends over an area measuring about 400m square; on the S and E it is bounded by a curvilinear bank and contains a number of small rectangular plots. The small cairns measure up to 8m in diameter by 0.7m in height and mostly lie around the fringes of the field-system. (USN93 100-3).

Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 6 October 1992.

Aerial Photography (1994)

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