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Loch Shurrery

Hut Circle (Prehistoric), Settlement (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Loch Shurrery

Classification Hut Circle (Prehistoric), Settlement (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 7716

Site Number ND05NW 3

NGR ND 04321 56794

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. 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 3 0432 5679.

(ND 0432 5679) Mound (NR)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

On the E side of the road some 200 yards N of the N end of Loch Shurrery is a circular construction surrounded by a stone wall some 6ft in thickness. The entrance appears to have been from the SE. The internal diameter is about 26 ft. Opening out of the main enclosure towards the W and NW have been small circular enclosures of indefinite diameter. The whole structure is much overgrown.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A circular enclosure, 8.0m in internal diameter and 20.0m overall. It has been systematically excavated and part of a paved floor has been exposed. The grassy outer bank, where exposed, is composed of small stones. The maximum height is 1.0m. Three breaks in the enclosing bank are probable excavation trenches.

Visited by OS (E G C) 10 April 1961.

(ND 0432 5679) Hut Circle (NR)

OS 6" map, (1963)

A round house, situated on the valley floor close to Loch Shurrery, is generally as described by MacLaren, but turf accumulation has obscured some of the details. The remains exposed in the excavation are typical of a hut circle, but around the NW arc the width of tumble is about 6.0m, suggesting an unusually massive construction in this quarter, or possibly further subsidiary structures as yet unexcavated, and for this reason the term round house or possibly homestead is preferred. There is no evidence of associated cultivation. According to the keeper at Shurrery Lodge, the site was excavated in advance of the construction of a dam which it was thought would cause the site to be submerged; this threat has now receded. There is no local knowledge of the present location of the finds.

Revised at 1:10560.

Visited by OS (N K B) 15 November 1981.


Excavation (1955)

Excavations during October 1955 revealed a circular hut some 26ft in internal diameter, surrounded by a wall 8 to 10ft thick, with a single entrance from the SW. The wall was set on a rubble foundation and consisted of inner and outer facings of heavy stones and a core of earth and stone. The entrance was 4ft wide, and the side walls narrowed to form projecting door jambs on either side with, between them, a long thin threshold slab. The entrance and interior of the hut showed the remains of a paved floor. A rectangular hearth, 3ft by 2ft, was situated slightly off centre, and near it was a post socket, some 15ins square and 10ins deep, lined with stones with a flat stone at the bottom. From the hearth came a sherd of coarse ware and from near it a saddle quern; in the tumble of the wall was found a cup-marked stone, and the entrance yielded two further sherds lying on the paved flooring.

A MacLaren 1955.


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