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Caen Burn

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

Site Name Caen Burn

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

Canmore ID 7424

Site Number ND01NW 10

NGR ND 014 183

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

ND01NW 10 014 183.

(Centred ND 014 182) Enclosures (NR) (Four shown A-D).

(E: ND 0140 1838) Hut Circle (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964)

Some 600 yds north of the Caen Burn bridge, are three circular enclosures (A, B and E) and the remains of one or two others on the hillside above, together with old walls.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

A total of four enclosures (A-D) and a hut circle (E) were located during field perambulation. A further ruined enclosure at ND 0132 1816 was considered to be a sheepfold contemporary with nearby crofting structures.

Visited by OS (W D J) 26 May 1960.

The settlement lies on the SW slopes of Caen Hill and comprises five hut circles. 'A' and 'C' are similar being set into the hill and of a large size, with a massive wall expanding greatly on the downslope side.

'A' measures 10.0m N-S by 8.5m internally, with the entrance in the S. The huts floor level is 2.0m below the top of the wall in the E arc. Extending from the E side of the entrance is a projecting hornwork. From it a low turf-covered wall extends westward across the face of the entrance.

'C' measures 13.5m SE-NW x 10.5m within a wall which attains its greatest dimensions on the S side of the SE-facing entrance, where it is spread to 5.5m and is 1.0m high. This expansion may have been caused by the addition of clearance; the width of the entrance of 3.5m indicates some mutilation.

In the NW segment of the wall is a scooped area 6.0m x 1.7m which may possibly be the remains of a collapsed souterrain, though no facing stones are visible, and the wall irregularity could be the result of mutilation.

Huts 'B' and 'D' are similar in construction being less strongly built than the previous huts. Both have been set into the slope.

'B' measures 10.5m N-S x 8.5m within a wall of 2.5m average spread. The entrance in the S has a flanking wall on the W side.

'D' is 9.5m in diameter within a spread wall of 2.5m widening to 3.5m on the revetted W side. The entrance is in the SE where the wall has been partially destroyed.

'E' set deeply into the slope gives the impression of being a stone walled hut of 7.2m internal diameter set eccentrically within a larger hut 10.5m x 9.0m internally. The wall increases in breadth from 1.5m in the N to 4.0m in the joint W arc. The common entrance, choked with stones, is in the S. The top of the outer scarp in the E is 1.5m above the floor level.

Two segments of walling ('X' and 'Y') are suggestive of mutilated hut circles, but their condition is too fragmentary for positive classification. An extremely well preserved field system of about 5 hectares surrounds the huts. It comprises plots, average size 30.0m by 25.0m, defined by lynchets, clearance heaps and ruinous field walls. Resurveyed at 1:10,560.

Visited by OS (J B) 14 June 1976.


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