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Grimsay, Bagh Nam Feadhag

Wheelhouse (Prehistoric)

Site Name Grimsay, Bagh Nam Feadhag

Classification Wheelhouse (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 320517

Site Number NF85NE 41

NGR NF 86652 57367

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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


Excavation (1993 - 1997)

This wheelhouse was excavated and subsequently consolidated by Roy Ashworth between 1993 and 1997.

Measured Survey (October 1998)

A survey was undertaken of this site by the Association of Certificated Field Archaeologists.

Photogrammetric Survey (18 August 2014 - 20 August 2014)

NF 86720 57315 The ACCORD (Archaeology Community Co-production Of Research Data) Project was an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project led by the Digital Design Studio (Glasgow School of Art), with the University of Manchester, RCAHMS and Archaeology Scotland, which worked with 10 community groups across Scotland from October 2013 to March 2015. The project aimed to co-design and co-produce 3D digital data of heritage sites that are of significance to the community groups and which they wished to record.

The ACCORD team worked with the Access Archaeology Group based in the Uists from the 18–20 August 2014. Together we recorded and modelled the Grimsay Wheelhouse, North Uist. Additionally we modelled and recorded the remains of an early medieval chapel and a cross-slab at Howmore, South Uist (NF 7581 3647). We used both the techniques of Reflectance Transformation Imaging and photogrammetry.

Archive: ADS and National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE)

Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council

Stuart Jeffrey, Mhairi Maxwell and Sian Jones – Glasgow School of Art

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Field Visit

This site has been extensively excavated, but without much record. The finds suggest that it was a wheelhouse overbuilt by later structures, of which the latest was a pre-Clearance sheiling. Viking Age pottery, and mediaeval pottery also indicate the probability of near continuous occupation. A site whose finds would repay further study.

A partially excavated structural complex is located above the coast on rough grazing land. Fragments of a at least four buildings are exposed, the most extensive of which is a wheelhouse of some 8m diameter. This appears to have been built on th esite of an earlier, curvilinear building, the walls of which are exposed in places beneath the level of the wheelhouse floor. A later subrectangular structure has been built against the south side of the wheelhouse, incorporating part of tis fabric. In the immediate hinterland there are numerous protruding stones, suggestive of further buried structures. The wheelhouse contains eight piers and is divided into central and peripheral floor areas. Its walls stand up to 1.8m high. The remains of a hearth lie at the centre. The site has not been consolidated and is slowly degrading.

Moore and Wilson 2005, 219


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