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Jura, Cul A' Bhaile

Cultivation Remains (Prehistoric), Enclosure (Late Bronze Age), Hut Circle (Late Bronze Age)

Site Name Jura, Cul A' Bhaile

Classification Cultivation Remains (Prehistoric), Enclosure (Late Bronze Age), Hut Circle (Late Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Torrain Odhar; Creagan Breac; Knockrome

Canmore ID 38277

Site Number NR57SW 1

NGR NR 54949 72674

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Jura
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR57SW 1 5494 7267.

(NR 5471 7232) (RCAHMS 1976) Preliminary work on a roughly circular stone-walled house standing within a walled enclosure, showed that it measured 8m. in diameter internally. No closely datable finds were made, but the considerable growth of peat over the E half of the enclosure suggests that the site is prehistoric (information from RCAHMS). Miss Campbell notes that the enclosure, measuring 265ft by 216ft, appears as a surface trace in low sunlight; the top of the enclosure wall shows in places.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1966; RCAHMS 1976.

NR 5494 7267. A hut circle and enclosure forming a homestead situated on the SE side of a small, rocky knoll. Excavation of the site is now complete and, at the time of the visit, the hut was covered by turves. It lies within the NW side of the low enclosure wall which is clearly visible in peat cuttings to the SE; elsewhere only intermittent stones protruding through the peat define the course. Except for the enclosure no traces of cultivation were encountered.

Surveyed at 1.10,000.

Visited by OS (J B) 11 May 1978.


Excavation (1976 - 1980)

Enclosure and House (NR 548 727). Preliminary work on a roughly circular stone-walled house standing within a walled enclosure, showed that it measured 8m in diameter internally. No closely datable finds were made, but the considerable growth of peat over the E half of the enclosure suggests that the site is prehistoric.

RCAHMS (DES 1976, 83)

Enclosure and House (NR 548 727). The excavation of the house was continued (see DES 1976, 83) and revealed that it has been rebuilt on at least one occasion. No closely datable finds were discovered but the flintwork indicated that it probably belongs to the Bronze Age.

RCAHMS (DES 1977, 52)

Enclosure and house (NR 549 726) The excavation was continued (DES 1977, 52)

RCAHMS (DES 1978, 20)

Enclosure and House (NR 549 726). The excavation was continued (DES 1977, 52).

RCAHMS (DES 1979, 30)

Enclosure and House (NR 549 726). The excavation of this hut circle (c 11m in diameter overall) situated within a stone-walled enclosure (78m by 65m) was concluded (see also DES 1976-9). The house had clearly been occupied over a long period of time as the wall had been rebuilt twice and the roof replaced or three occasions. There was a central hearth and large numbers of stake-holes, including a stake-ring around the inner face of the earliest wall. The finds include small quantities of undiagnostic pottery and a number of flint and stone tools. Although no closely datable objects were recovered there was sufficient charcoal for at least four radiocarbon assays. Beneath the earliest house wall there were ard marks

RCAHMS (DES 1980, 30)

Field Visit (June 1980)

This hut-circle and its surrounding enclosure are situated in open moorland 1km NW of Knockrome on the SE flank of an isolated rocky knoll (80m OD) which forms part of the watershed between Lowlandman's Bay and Loch na Mile. Between 1976 and 1980 the hut-circle and sections of the enclosure were excavated by the Commission's officers (RCAHMS), and the following account is a summary of the published report (PSAS 1983).

The enclosure measures 78m by 65m within an irregular stone wall about 1.5m thick and, where best preserved under the peat that swamps much of the site, up to 0.7m high. Although it is entirely of drystone construction, more than one building-technique was used: on the E the wall is roughly coursed with a near vertical inner face, while on the S it is of simple dump construction. No trace of an entrance could be found.

The hut-circle lies at the foot of the knoll, occupying the driest and most sheltered part of the enclosure. Before excavation it appeared as a low annular mound about 10m in diameter over all with a few possible outer facing-stones visible, and with a ruined lambing-pen at its centre. Excavation revealed that the house had been in use over a long period of time, and had been modified and rebuilt on several occasions.

In the earliest period (1) the interior measured 7.5m in diameter within a stone-footed turf wall 1m thick and at least 0.4m high. Immediately within the line of the inner face there was a ring of stake-holes which had probably held the upright members of a wattle lining for the wall. The roof was supported on a ring of eight posts, with additional posts forming a porch structure at the entrance, which lay on the S. Flanking the S half of the wall there was a shallow drainage gully. The only internal features were numerous stake-holes, some of which appeared to form radial divisions, and a central hearth which remained a constant feature throughout the life of the house.

The house was remodelled in Period 2 by adding an extra outer face to the wall on the S and by more radical rebuilding on the N. This N-S division was reflected in the interior, where on the S the wattle lining was replaced by a plank-or post-built screen set in a bedding-trench, while on the N no trace of an inner lining was found. At the same time a new roof was erected on a replacement post-ring, and outside the entrance a rectilinear paved forecourt was laid over the existing gravel surface.

In the final phase (Period 3) the wall was again remodelled, but more extensively than in the proceeding period. A well-built and almost pefectly circular outer kerb was added, along with a poorly constructed stone inner revetment, which reduced the interior diameter to about 6m and increased the wall thickness from 1m in Period 1 to a maximum of 3m. The post-ring was replaced at least twice during this period and the paved forecourt was enlarged.

The finds included: stone hammers; a range of flint tools, flakes and cores; worked stones; and a small amount of pottery probably representing two vessels. Four radiocarbon dates were obtained from charcoal associated with the house: 1265bc +- 80 (GU-1384), from the Period 2 screen slot; 980bc +-65 (GU-1383), from between the Period 1 and 2 forecourt surfaces; 940bc+- (GU-1385), from the filling of the Period 1 external drainage ditch; 795bc+-70 (GU-1386), from core material of the Period 2 wall.

The only remaining features of note were two small patches of multiphase ard-marks found beneath the Period 1 wall-footings on the N side of the house.

RCAHMS 1984, visited June 1980


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