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Allt A' Choire Mhoir

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

Site Name Allt A' Choire Mhoir

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

Canmore ID 7057

Site Number NC91NW 1

NGR NC 914 182

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NC91NW 1 914 182.

(NC 914 183) Hut Circles and Enclosures (NR) (6 shown A-F)

OS 6" map, (1964)

On the left bank of the Allt a' Choire Mhoir, about 1 mile above its junction with the Helmsdale River near Kilournan on the S side of the Strath, are a number of circular enclosures. The first ('C') about 3/4 mile up the glen is ill-defined with a wide entrance in the E; it has probably been for cattle. There are two other enclosures in the vicinity ('F' is 180.0m W of 'C' and 'B' is 45.0m NNW of 'C'). At the upper end of the group is a well-preserved hut circle ('A'); adjacent to it is a small mounded construction presumably a kiln. (Two further enclosures are now included with NC91NW 6 and NC91NW 4 ).

RCAHMS 1911.

A total of six hut circles and enclosures including those described by the RCAHMS and two more ('D' and 'E') were encountered during OS field investigation. Numerous heather-clad stony mounds in the area are probably field clearance heaps.

Visited by OS (J L D) 31 May 1961.

On a NE-facing slope is a settlement of six hut circles ('A'-'F') nd an associated field system. Four of the huts ('C'-'F') have been overlaid and obscured by later cultivation in the form of run-rig and clearance. The entrance to each hut, where visible, is in the E or SE arc.

The best preserved, 'A', is of massive construction, measuring 10.5m within a wall 1.2m interior height, spread to 3.0m wide, but broadening to 4.0m at the entrance. Occasional inner and outer facing stones are apparent. 'B' is 11.0m internal diameter, again with the wall spread widening from 2.5m to 4.0m at the entrance. There is a clearly visible stone revetment on the S and E sides.

Huts 'C' and 'D' are oval, each measuring approximately 12.5m by 9.5m internally, but they are so mutilated by later work that no structural details can be positively identified. E is 10.5m in diameter internally, the wall being completely destroyed by later agricultural intrusion in the SE arc.

Abutting either side of the hut's entrance in the ENE is an unusually placed annexe, measuring 10.5m x 3.0m. It is largely obscured by later run-rig. A later clearance heap lies within the hut. 'F' measures about 10.0m in diameter internally. It has been so denuded and overlaid by peat that no structural details can be observed. A curving tumbled bank extends from the W arc for 9.0m.

The field system occupied 35 hectares of gently sloping hillside. It survives in the NW where scattered clearance heaps and boulder-formed dykes can be seen; these latter may not be contemporary with the huts, and they do not appear to enclose parcels of land.

Recent cultivation of the SE half of the system has destroyed any cohesive pattern in this area, save in the extreme S around hut A, though undoubtedly some of the clearance heaps and field walls are associated with the huts.

Revised at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (J B) 7 May 1976.


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