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Learable Hill

Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Field System (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Shooting Stand(S) (19th Century) - (20th Century)

Site Name Learable Hill

Classification Cairnfield (Prehistoric), Field System (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Shooting Stand(S) (19th Century) - (20th Century)

Canmore ID 6701

Site Number NC82SE 12

NGR NC 890 241

NGR Description NC 8909 2410 and NC 8935 2412

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kildonan
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes ( - 1976)

NC82SE 12 890 241.

('A': NC 8909 2410) Hut Circle (NR) ('B': NC 8935 2412) Hut Circle (NR)

OS 6"map, (1963)

On the south-facing slopes of Learable Hill are two hut circles ('A' and 'B') and an associated field system.

'A' is 6.5m in diameter within a low stone wall with intermittent facing stones visible. The wall appears to have been 1.4m wide in the SW widening to 2.3m at the simple entrance in the SE.

'B' is 10.0m in diameter within a heather-covered wall spread to 2.0; the entrance is in the SE.

A field system of eleven hectares surrounds hut 'A'. It is denoted by field clearance heaps and occasional lynchets. A few plots are discernible with a clearly defined example measuring 30m x 30m. Many of the field clearance heaps have been cleared out from the centre, and one of these, near the top of the hill, now forms an oval depression 1.2m by 1.8m internally. This was mistaken for a hut by RCAHMS (RCAHMS 1911) Revised at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 29 May 1961 and (JB) 23 December 1976


Field Visit (6 June 1991)

There are four hut-circles (A-D), a field-system, an extensive spread of small cairns, and a row of shooting-butts on the S flank of Learable Hill. The small cairns extend over some 400m from E to W by 300m transversely, covering the whole slope of the hill between the top and a boggy sump, which occupies the saddle between this hillside and the SE spur of the hill. A number of linear clearance banks were observed amongst the small cairns, including the interrupted NE, NW and SW sides of a large sub-rectangular field which encloses an area some 110m from NE to SW by at least a similar distance transversely, the SE side being ill-defined. A bank, which runs along the contour to the ENE from hut-circle 'C' for some 50m before turning up-slope, may form part of a separate field to the E. Three of the hut-circles (A, C and D), one of which (D) occupies a small enclosure, are situated within the sub-rectangular field, but the fourth (B) lies on its own some 250m to the E. Towards the top of the hill, and near the edge of the clearance, there is a row of three drystone shooting-butts running along the contour; they are evenly spaced, about 30m apart, each measuring some 2m to 3m across.

A. NC 8909 2410 This hut-circle is situated on a natural terrace in the middle of the area of small cairns and measures 5.6m in diameter within a stony bank spread to 1.8m in thickness and 0.4m in height with an entrance on the SE.

(KILD91 426)

B. NC 8935 2412 Situated some 250m to the E of hut-circle 'A', this hut-circle is set somewhat apart from the rest of the site on a natural terrace, which appears to have a bank running along its back edge; it measures 9.5m from WNW to ESE by 8.8m transversely within a stony bank spread to 2m in thickness and 0.6m in height with an entrance on the ESE. An arc of a bank defines a subsidiary terrace on the S side of the hut.

(KILD91 425)

C. NC 8912 2401 This terraced hut-circle is situated lower down the slope, it measures 10.5m from WNW to ESE by 7.5m transversely within a bank spread to a thickness of 1.8m and 1m in height with an entrance on the ESE, from the SW side of which a bank leads off along the contour. (KILD91 427)

D. NC 8910 2400 An oval enclosure surrounding a hut-circle is situated some 20m SW of 'C'. The enclosure measures 17m from NW to SE by 12.8m transversely with an opening on the ESE. The hut-circle, which is set against the back or NW end of the enclosure, measures 8m in diameter and is marked by a low arc of a bank, 0.4m in height on the SE, where it is not subsumed in the bank of the enclosure. The SE part of the enclosure provides a forecourt for the hut-circle.

(KILD91 428)

Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 6 June 1991.


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