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Lewis, Cnoc Dubh

Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Sheepfold (Period Unassigned), Shieling Hut(S) (Post Medieval)

Site Name Lewis, Cnoc Dubh

Classification Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Sheepfold (Period Unassigned), Shieling Hut(S) (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Callanish Vii, Stone Circle; Calanais; Garry-na-hine

Canmore ID 4175

Site Number NB23SW 9

NGR NB 232 302

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Uig
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NB23SW 9 2320 3020

An estate road has been constructed through a low sub-circular stone structure, 10m diameter, causing loss of some 50% of the enclosed area. The features thus exposed were recorded and the remainder of the site surveyed.

M R Ponting and G R Curtis 1987.

The estate road has been widened causing further loss of the structure.

M R Ponting and G R Curtis 1988.

What may be three unroofed shieling-huts and one enclosure are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Island of Lewis, Ross-shire 1853, sheet 25). This site lies within a system of head-dykes associated with the township NB23SW 49. Three unroofed buildings which may be shieling-huts, one sheep pen and one sheep dip are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1973).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 29 September 1997.


Watching Brief (2008)

NB 23213 30225 A watching brief was kept on the construction of a new sheep fank for the village of Garynahine adjacent to Cnoc Dubh shieling NMR number 219. In 1986 this site suffered severe disturbance from the construction of an access road to the fank (see DES 1987, Curtis and Ponting). The site was reassessed during restoration and recording of the Both (beehive shieling), which has led to the site being considered as a homestead rather than a transhumance site. The existing fank was demolished and the surface soil stripped from the site using a machine with a toothless bucket. Sensitivity was needed in view of the fact that in 1986 the medieval and later soil levels had been removed leaving the possibility that the remaining levels were Iron and Bronze Age. Several features were observed, recorded and photographed. A substantial former standing stone 2.2 x 1.1m with adjoining socket stones was found. There was also a possible funerary cairn which had been disturbed and partially destroyed by the Gearraidh cultivation rigs. The realisation of its significance may have curtailed further development. Site conditions suggest that more easily developed ground would have been found towards the habitation. An extensive area of burnt soil was observed around the cairn and several lithic assemblages were recovered. With the approval of the Grazings Committee, the size of the fank was restricted in order to keep the main features outside the fank. Other less important features were recorded, covered in terram and incorporated below the new fank.

Report: Western Isles archaeologist and RCAHMS (intended)

J Crawford 2008

Watching Brief (2009)

NB 23213 30225 A further watching brief carried out on the construction of a new fank (see DES 2008, 186 for details of previous work), revealed a fallen orthostat and sub-walling in the area of a path extension on the W side of the new fank. The fallen orthostat is 1.42 x 0.86 x 0.23m and appears to have remains of walling at its former footing. Although the feature has not been excavated, it is likely that the orthostat has collapsed in the construction of the run rigs together with the spoiling of the walling. This orthostat, if standing, would possibly have borne comparison with the nearby scheduled stone site of Aribh nam bidearan (SAM 189).

James Crawford


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