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Broubster Village

Cairn(S) (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Broubster Village

Classification Cairn(S) (Prehistoric), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 7699

Site Number ND05NW 14

NGR ND 032 592

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND05NW 14 032 592

See also ND05NW 48 Field Clearance Cairns

(ND 033 595) Cairns (NR)

(ND 031 592) Cairns (NR) Hut Circles (NR)

(ND 033 589) Hut Circles & Enclosures (NR)

OS 6" map, (1963)

In the area centred ND 032 592 there are the remains of thirteen hut circles or enclosures, twenty-five cairns, a burnt mound (see ND05NW 24), and the footings of four rectangular buildings (see (M) 11).

Visited by OS (R D) 9 November 1964.

This complex group of hut circles and cairns is situated on a gently sloping, undulating hillside. The hut circles, of which there are eleven, form two groups, one centred on ND 032 593 and the other on ND 032 589. The norther group of five huts, four circular and one oval, range in internal diameter from 4.0 to 8.5m; the oval hut is 7.5 by 6.5m. All are bounded by turf or heather-covered walls, spread to approximately 2.0m and 0.4m high, each with a simple entrance in the SE. The southern group of six huts is more widely scattered. Their internal sizes range from 6.5 to 13.5m in diameter; all are circular or slightly oval. Three, at ND 0318 5899, ND 0330 5907 and ND 0343 5893, are well-defined examples, the latter scooped deeply into a dry rise. Their walls are spread to around 3.0m and 0.7m high. Their entrances are in the SE The published circle at ND 0315 5888 is ill-defined and obscured by bracken; details of it are unobtainable. At ND 0353 5897, the only feature noted was an amorphous footing 3.0m across. No clear pattern of cultivation is evident in the vicinity of the huts; isolated clearance heaps occur on dry rises in the area.

There are nine burial cairns centred on ND 032 594, the majority exhibiting the remains of a kerb and/or cist (cists are exposed at ND 0326 5952 and ND 0332 5948). With one exception they are on average 7.0m in diameter, turf or heather-covered and 0.6m high. The exceptional cairn, prominently positioned at ND 0330 5945, is partly of bare stone, 15.0m in diameter and 1.5m high. One kerbstone survives in the E, but no cist or chamber is apparent. There is the suggestion of a shallow ditch 2.0m wide around the NE half. In the vicinity are two probable cairns simlar to the smaller cairns, and four further examples adjacent to the hut circles at ND 031 592. The latter vary in size from 5.0 to 7.0m in diameter and stand 0.7m high. Except for one with a protruding possible capstone they lack any diagnostic features, yet their general appearance strongly resembles the burial cairns described above. Approximately four turf and heather-covered mounds at ND 033 592 are also similar to the cairns, but whether they are funerary or simply clearance heaps cannot be judged from ground inspection. Occasional smaller and less regular mounds occur over the whole area; they are assumed to be either field clearance or natural, although the possibility that some may contain burials cannot be ignored. The stony mounds and walling centred on ND 035 592 post-date the features described above.

Surveyed at 1:10560.

Revised at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (J B) 23 July 1981.


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