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Langwell Water

Field Boundary(S) (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Settlement (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Site Name Langwell Water

Classification Field Boundary(S) (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric), Settlement (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 7526

Site Number ND02SE 11

NGR ND 0603 2313

NGR Description ND 0603 2313 and ND 0608 2309

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Latheron
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND02SE 11 0603 2313 and 0608 2309

At ND 0603 2313, immediately NW of an old sheepfold, is an enclosure measuring 13.0m in diameter, formed by an earth- and-stone bank spread to 4.0m in the SW, and scooped into the slope on the N. The entrance, in the SE, is 2.0m wide. The inside of the bank is revetted in places with large stones. Two small compartments formed by courses of stones are situated within the NE segment, and are possibly the remains of huts.

At ND 0608 2309, some 40.0m SE of the sheepfold, are the remains of an oval enclosure measuring 15.0m E-W by 9.5m transversely. It is formed by an earth-and-stone bank spread to 2.8m on the S and 0.6m high. The inside of the bank is revetted with large stones, and there is a compartment in the NW end, one side of which is formed by a large earth-and-stone bank jutting SE into the main enclosure from the enclosing bank. The enclosure, which is scooped into the slope on the NE side, has an entrance about 1.0m wide lined by some large stones at its E end. On the N side of the entrance are the remains of an earth-house in the form of a stone-lined passage running N for a short distance into the bank and terminating in a small semicircular chamber 0.7m deep and 1.0m wide, roofed with a large stone slab.

Visited by OS (W D J), 13 June 1960.

(A: ND 0603 2313) Enclosure (NR)

(B: ND 0608 2309) Enclosure and Earth-house (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964).

Set back into a S-facing slope are two massive hut circles (A and C) of Kilphedir II type (see NC91NE 25) and a homestead (B). Of these, 'C' is newly discovered.

'A' is 10.8m in diameter within a wall faced internally with boulders, particularly well-preserved in the NW where the face is 0.8m high and crudely coursed. In the same arc is a single outer facing stone giving an actual wall thickness of 2.4m, but elsewhere the wall is spread to 3.0m and 1.0m average height. The entrance, in the S, is partially overlaid by a later sheepfold. There is no trace of internal compartments.

Homestead B is an irregular oval, 10.0m NW-SE by 7.0m transversely within a wall, similar to 'A', faced internally with boulders 0.8m high. The wall is generally spread to 2.5m, but at the entrance in the SE, an actual width of 2.7m can be perceived. On the line of the inner face are two opposing upright stones 0.6m high and 0.6m apart, and midway along the entrance passage is a third slab, 0.7m high. The souterrain appears to have been entered from the NE side of the entrance, but only the rear half of the corbelled end chamber, partially roofed, is visible, the rest being reduced to a depression choked with stones. The distance from the hut entrance to the back of the souterrain chamber is 4.3m. No structural details of subdivisions can positively be identified within the homestead.

Hut circle 'C' is poorly preserved compared to the others, being obscured by peat so that no stones are exposed. It measures 12.0m in diameter within a wall, 0.4m average height and spread to 3.0m. There are three gaps in the SE arc, one of which must be an entrance, and a further break occurs in the W.

In the vicinity are meandering boulder walls, largely buried in peat, and some terracing of the hillslope, suggesting associated cultivation.

Revised at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (N K B), 15 November 1982.


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