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Loch Ascaig

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
  • Alternative name(s)
  • Canmore ID
  • Site type
  • Parish
  • Council
  • NGR
    NC 843 253
  • Latitude, longitude
    58.201269N, 3.970257W
  • Archaeological notes
    NC82NW 8 843 253. ('A': NC 8427 2539 'B': NC 8419 2541) Hut Circles (NR) ('C': NC 8438 2526 'D': NC 8445 2530) Enclosures (NR) ('E': NC 8443 2526) Hut Circles (NR) OS 6"map, (1962) A group of five hut circles on the lower north slopes of Mid Hill. 'A': The remains of a hut circle which was excavated by Curle in 1910, (A O Curle 1911) who showed that it consisted of two concentric circles, 1.5m apart but joined by the stone-lined entrance passage in the ESE. The inner circle was of rubble 1.5m broad, 0.75m high, 6.7m in diameter and roughly faced internally. The outer circle was a bank 3m thick and about 0.6m high of compacted earth and stone. A hearth was found in the centre. A saddle quern was recovered nearby in a low heap of stones which may have been the ruin of a small hut (A O Curle 1911). Just outside the entrance of the hut circle are traces of a rectangular structure 3m by 2m. 'B': The remains of a hut circle measuring internally 12.0m NW-SE by 9.5m and formed by a heather-covered turf bank about 3m wide and 0.5m high, with a possible entrance in the SE. 'C': The remains of a hut circle 11.0m by 10.0m intern- ally formed by a turf bank 3.3m wide and 0.4m in average height. There is an entrance 2m wide in the SE and a large stone stands against the outside of the enclosure on the north. The site is now heather-covered. 'D': A heather-covered hut circle 12.0m by 11.0m internally formed by a turf bank, 3.6m wide by 0.5m high, with an entrance, 2.1m wide, in the SE. 'E': The remains of a small hut circle 3.5m in diameter internally, scooped into the ground. The bank is of turf 2m wide and 0.4m high with an entrance 0.9m wide in the SE. Many low heather-covered mounds, probably field clearance heaps, lie in the vicinity of 'A' and 'B'. (See also NH 82 NW 5 - souterrain). This settlement of five stone-walled huts is as described. Regarding the hut excavated by Curle ('A') the outer circle is of different character to the inner and is probably earlier. A minor field system of about seven hectares surrounds the huts. The ground has a considerable peat covering, with the system defined only by scattered clearance heaps. Revised at 1:10,000 Visited by OS (WDJ) 25 May 1961 There are six hut-circles set on a series of natural terraces on an uneven NE-facing slope running down to Loch Ascaig. The burnt mound (G) is situated on the E bank of an unnamed burn to the E of the hut-circles. A. NC 8427 2539 This hut-circle measures 6.3m in diameter within a stone-faced rubble bank 3.4m in thickness and 0.6m in height. The entrance, which is on the SE, is lined by substantial boulder facing-stones and there is a baffle wall. The outer face is intermittent while the inner is more continuous possibly due to the excavation of the interior of the hut-circle. There is a depression along the centre of the E arc of the bank. (KILD91 40) B. NC 8419 2541 This hut-circle measures 9.2m from NNW to SSE by 8.2m transversely within a bank 3.3m in thickness and 0.5m in height. The entrance is on the SSE and there is a marked step in the interior along the long axis. (KILD91 41) C. NC 8438 2526 This hut-circle measures 8.4m from N to S by 6.6m transversely within a stony bank 2.2m in thickness and 0.5m in height. The entrance, which is partially blocked by a stony heap, lies on the E and is protected by an outer baffle wall. (KILD91 44) D. NC 8445 2530 This hut-circle measures 10m in diameter within a bank 3.4m in thickness and 0.5m in height. The entrance is on the SE, and there is a slight thickening of the terminals of the hut-circle bank. (KILD91 42) E. NC 8443 2526 This hut-circle measures 3.9m from NE to SW by 3.4m transversely within a bank 1.2m in thickness and 0.4m in height. The entrance is on the NE. F. NC 8422 2552 This hut-circle measures 11.8m from NW to SE by 10.8m transversely within a bank 1.7m in thickness and 0.3m in height. The entrance is on the SE. (KILD91 46) G. NC 8457 2533 This oval burnt mound is situated on the E side of an unnamed burn and about 1m above the present water level. It measures 6.6m from N to S by 4.7m transversely and 1.2m in height. The E side has been cut by the burn and cracked stones set in a matrix of black soil and charcoal are visible in animal scrapes on the top of the mound. (KILD91 45) There are small cairns measuring up to 6m in diameter and 0.6m in height disposed amongst the hut-circles. Approximately equidistant between hut-circles 'A' and 'B', and running from NNE to SSW, there is a bank about 2.5m in thickness and 0.3m in height, which extends for at least 50m across the terrace. What may be cord rig is visible on oblique aerial photographs (RCAHMSAP 1991) immediately to the N of hut-circle 'A'. Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 8 March 1991.
  • Architectural notes

Related material information


  • 6696 (1910)
    Offprint from the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume XLV, containing article 'On the examination of two hut circles in the Strath of Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, one of which has an earth house annexed' by Alexander O Curle, Secretary. Annotated 'with the author's compliments'.
  • 6696 (1991)
    RCAHMSALS field notebook, Strath of Kildonan


  • 6696 (1991)
  • 6696 (1991)
  • 6696 (1991)
  • 6696 (1991)
  • 6696 (1991)
  • 6696 (1991)


  • 6696 (1992)
    Distribution map of hut-circles in the Strath of Kildonan
  • 6696 (1992)
    Distibution map of hut-circles in the Strath of Kildonan

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Sutherland, Sheet LXVI1871