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Langwell Water

Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Settlement (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Site Name Langwell Water

Classification Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Settlement (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 7557

Site Number ND02SW 1

NGR ND 0344 2484

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND02SW 1 0344 2494

(ND 0344 2484) Pict's House (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1877).

The remains of a 'Pictish dwelling' through which the cart road between the houses of Wag and Alltnabae runs. It is very dilapidated.

OS Name Book 1877.

An extremely mutilated structure measuring approximately 12.0m square and 1.0m in height, divided into two compartments. A disturbed area on the E side of the structure forms another compartment. The site seems to have consisted of abutting enclosures; the westernmost, which is very narrow, looks like the remains of a collapsed souterrain.

Some 160m to the NW, a course of stones outlines the remains of a large enclosure on the N side of the road, near a small quarry.

Visited by OS (W D J), 10 June 1960.

(ND 0344 2484) Enclosures (NR)

OS 6" map, (1962).

Situated on a river terrace, some 3.0m above the Langwell Water, are the remains of a homestead comprising three elements. It is generally as described and planned by the previous OS field surveyor, but the central area has been extensively robbed and the stones displaced, and a modern road cuts through the SW arc; in consequence the original plan is uncertain. Overall it measures 21.0m NW-SE by 13.5m transversely with a heather-covered wall, 0.7m maximum height.

The central compartment appears square, but this is illusory, probably caused by the road cutting and the robbing of the rubble wall, which, where best preserved, is spread to 2.5m. No wall faces are exposed and the interior is covered over with stones. A gap in the SE may be an entrance.

Abutting the NW side of the central compartment are the remains of a souterrain surviving as a depression about 8.0 by 2.0m, bounded by banks on all but the SW side where there is a slight gap. The base of the depression is 0.5m below present ground level, but it is choked with stone debris and was clearly much deeper. No wall faces or lintels in situ are exposed amidst the debris.

To the SE of the central area, there is a curving wall extending from the NE corner towards the road.

Classification of this feature is curtailed by the paucity of the remains. The most likely explanations are that it is either a bipartite homestead or a hut circle with forecourt arrangement, in both cases with a souterrain incorporated in the wall on the NW side. The enclosure 'some 160m to the NW' is of boulder construction and as such is typical of Bronze Age/Iron Age field walls.

Visited by OS (N K B), 12 November 1982.


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