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Clearance Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Durcha

Classification Clearance Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Field System (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 5139

Site Number NC50SW 1

NGR NC 507 023

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Creich (Sutherland)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC50SW 1 507 023.

(NC 507 023) Hut Circles and Field System (NR)

OS 6"map, (1969)

On the SW slopes of Doir'a' Chatha, just above the enclosed land, is a large group of mounds and hut circles. Two huts, a crescentic mound and a "mounded construction are specified, the latter measuring 35ft NW-SE by 19ft transversely, and 1ft 6ins to 2ft high. From its east side a narrow curving passage leads into the interior, sloping downwards till the floor level at the back is 2ft deep. Two stones, the largest 2ft high and 2ft across, form the back wall.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

A total of six huts were located, the "crescentic mound" (noted by RCAHMS) being the remains of a hut. The "mounded construction" at NC 506 024 appears to be a partially robbed clearance heap or natural mound. The numerous mounds within the area are field clearance heaps. Visited by OS (E G C) 21 June 1963.

This is a settlement of five stone-walled huts (A-E) within a small field system. The "crescentic mound" at NC 5081 0220 does not resemble a hut but is a fortuitous arrangement of cleared stones. The "mounded construction" cannot be located. The huts are both oval and circular, but broadly similar in appearance. They vary from 7.5m in diameter (E) to 9.5m NW-SE by 7.5m internally (B), each with a turf or heather-covered wall tumbled and spread to 2.5m broad. Hut B is the best-preserved; the wall is 0.4m interior height with occasional inner facing stones visible. The south arc of hut D is destroyed by an old track; its entrance was presumably in the SE in common with the other huts.

The field system comprises scattered clearance heaps and no plots are discernible. Only between huts A and B where the heaps are more concentrated can the occasional lynchet be seen.

Re-surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (N K B) 3 September 1976.


Field Visit (30 June 1909)

58. Doir' a' Chatha. About 1½ m. N. of Altassmore, on the SW. slope of the Doir' a' Chatha, near the 700' level, and, just above the enclosed land, is a large group of mounds and hut circles. Immediately above the most easterly of the crofts is a circle of the usual oval form, with the entrance from the SE. overgrown with heather. Near the upper side of the enclosed tract of moorland directly behind the eastmost croft is a hut circle measuring interiorly 23' x (about) 27'. The bank at the entrance has disappeared. Some eight mounds lie around.

About 40' SE. of the entrance to the circle, and with its convex

side towards it, is a crescentic mound measuring 12' in thickness at the centre. It has a chord of 30' and a radius of 10'.

Some 30' N. of the NW. end of the enclosed field behind the eastmost croft is a mounded construction overgrown with heather. It is oval in form, with its longest axis NW. and SE. measuring 19' X 35'. Externally it is from 1' 6”to 2' high. From the E. a narrow passage leads with a curve to the interior, gradually expanding to a width of 3' 7" at its termination-9' from the outside, and sloping downwards till the floor level at the back is 2' deep. Two large stones with flat faces to the chamber form the back wall, the largest stone being 2' high and 2' across. The centre of this back wall is 19' from the SE. edge and 12' from the NW. The breadth of the mound behind it is 10'.

OS 6-inch map: Sutherland Sheet cii.

RCAHMS 1911, visited (AOC) 30th June 1909.

Ground Survey (23 January 2010 - 26 January 2010)

NC 5070 0200 (centred on) A desk-based assessment and

walkover survey were undertaken 23–26 January 2010 for an

area of proposed woodland regeneration. Work revealed the

following archaeological sites:

NC 50794 02228 Hut circle/cairns

NC 50795 02223 Possible hut circle/cairns

NC 50736 02237 Clearance cairns

NC 50777 02158 Linear clearance

NC 50833 02202 Stone revetment

NC 50935 02185 Hut circle

NC 50560 02250 Boundary dyke

NC 50840 01330 Peat cutting

NC 50930 02060 Clearance cairns

Several of these sites had been recorded during previous

visits (HHER 12803 and 32576).

Archive: WCAS and Highland HER. RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: North Highland Forest Trust


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