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Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Achtercairn

Classification Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 348141

Site Number NG87NW 54

NGR NG 8077 7693

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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


Excavation (March 2012 - October 2012)

NG 8077 7693 Achtercairn (2) and (3) Hut Circles (Wedig 6) These previously unrecorded hut circles lie in deep heather at the foot of a prominent NW-facing slope, known locally as Meall na h-Iolaire. The remains consist of a low heather covered ring bank c10m in overall diameter, with a possible entrance facing to the SE. The site was cleared of heather prior to excavation. A second ring of boulders lies 40m to the NE. This site (Achtercairn 3) consists of a ring of boulders 6m in overall diameter, which appears to be sitting directly on the ground surface. A total of four trenches were excavated. A single trench placed across Achtercairn 2, two soil trenches, and a small test trench in Achtercairn.

Trench 1 placed across Achtercairn 2 on a cN–S alignment recorded a fine orthostat faced wall, with a boulder fill, on the N and S side. A well built buttress supported the downhill N wall. A compacted clay floor butted up to the inner face of the walls. An oval hearth area, (char filled black earth), lay roughly central to the interior space. A second hearth, constructed of stone, which post dated the clay floor, lay against the inner face of the N wall. Lifting of the clay floor revealed a truncated posthole which still retained its post pad c1.25m in from the S inner wall face. A second truncated posthole was found 1.25m inside the N inner wall face. Removal of the wall stones showed that the stone wall was a secondary feature and that an earth walled roundhouse predated the stone structure. Small finds included a large ovoid light use pounder.

A 1m2 trench (Trench 2) was placed c10m NE of the roundhouse, but was abandoned due to geological difficulties. A second soil profile trench (Trench 3) was excavated c10m W of the roundhouse.

Trench 4 was placed in a circular stone setting (Achtercairn 3) c40m downslope of the roundhouse. Excavation showed that the stone setting was not a structured wall but a surface setting of boulders encircling an area of red loamy soil. Within the stone setting was a small cobbled area, which showed no signs of burning, but was associated with well defined areas of charcoal and many chunky quartz fragments, later identified as a worked quartz assemblage.

Website (accessed October 2014).

Archive: Inverness archive (intended)

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund and Highland Council

Anna Welti, Lochbroom Field Club, 2013

(Source: DES)


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