Archaeological Survey of Dunbeath Strath



SITE REF: DB21/01a-f

DESCRIPTION: Hut circles and other structures

GRID REF: ND 0960 3316 (centre)

SITES & MONUMENTS RECORD REF: ND03SE0005

SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT

On a north-facing slope between the deserted settlement clusters if Dail-a-bhoich and Bouilag, four hut circles (a-d), a small cellular structure (e) and a stone scatter/arrangement with many upright, earthfast slabs and a few stones in line, but with no discernable shape or form (f). (Hut circle 'DB21/01a' is pictured and planned here).

Described in the RCAHMS Inventory (1911): "Some 3/4 mile SSE of the shepherd's house at Achnaclyth, on the slope of the hill and about 1/4 mile S of the Dunbeath Water, is a hut circle. The wall or bank surrounding it is overgrown, but a facing of stones set on end around the exterior is here and there visible. The interior diameter is some 30' and the tickness of the bank about 7'. The entrance is from the E, and its breadth is indefinite.


"Some 40 yards S of the last is another hut circle, with interior dimensions of 23'x25' and an entrance from the E 2' in width. The wall, which is 6' thick, has been faced on the exterior with large flat stones from 2' to 3' in length and 1' in thickness laid almost contiguously."

The OS (1982) notes: "Situated at ND 096 332, on a gentle north-facing slope in open moorland, is a group of four hut circles (A-D) including the two described by the RCAHM (A and B).

"'A' measures 11.5m E-W by 10.5m transversely within a wall spread to 1.5-2.0m and 0.3m average internal height. The wall expands to an actual width of about 2.0m at the entrance, in the E. The outer face of contiguous blocks laid flat is an unusual feature.

"Hut 'B' [DB21/01a, pictured] is 9.0m in diameter within a wall spread to 3.0m wide and surviving to 0.6m in height. Occasional inner and outer facing stones are exposed suggesting a wall thickness of about 2.0m between faces. On the S side of the entrance, in the E, is a displaced upright portal stone.

"Huts 'C' and 'D', both overgrown with heather, are newly discovered. The former, at ND 0966 3313, measures 7.5m in diameter within a wall spread to 2.0m widening to 3.0m thick at the simple entrance in the E arc. Hut 'D' appears to have been robbed for stones presumably for the early modern deserted hill farms nearby. It is 11.0m in overall diameter; the wall is of indeterminate thickness and the position of the entrance is uncertain. There is no evidence of associated cultivation."

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