Ancient Monuments

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Achorn Bridge,settlements 1400m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.2528 / 58°15'10"N

Longitude: -3.5021 / 3°30'7"W

OS Eastings: 311940

OS Northings: 930325

OS Grid: ND119303

Mapcode National: GBR K6QX.GHQ

Mapcode Global: WH5D3.5TLQ

Entry Name: Achorn Bridge,settlements 1400m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1991

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5092

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement; Secular: shieling

Location: Latheron

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


This monument consists of a group of prehistoric hut circles associated with possible evidence for contemporary land use and three post medieval shieling buildings. Hut 'A' (ND11953041) is a hut circle which is set into a slope and measures about 14.5m E-W by 13m N-S. The wall is spread to about 2.5m wide and is 0.5m high. Intruding on the S part of the hut are the foundations of a rectangular shieling building which is about 7 by 3m.

Traces of a turf-covered wall extend for about 90m to the E of this hut. Hut 'B' is in a level but elevated location and measures 10.5 by 9.5m within a wall spread from 3.5 to 4.5m in width and up to 0.9m high. The entrance is to the SE. Possible traces of a rectangular shieling survive within this hut. Hut 'C' is set on a spur which projects into marshy ground; it measures about 7m in diameter.

The entrance is to the E and there is a lining slab to the N of the entrance. Foundations of a rectangular shieling building, about 6m by 3m are visible just S of this hut. At ND11923042 are the remains of a possible field clearance cairn and at ND11823028 are traces of another possible structure of uncertain form.

The area between these structures is smoothed and flat and this probably indicates cultivation at the time of the occupation of the round huts. The area to be scheduled measures 280 E-W by 230 N-S, to include the hut circles, cairn, length of walling and shieling buildings, as shown in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric and post medieval settlement and land use. The prehistoric hut circles contain information on the architecture of round houses. The shielings incorporate evidence about process of summer pasturing which was a vital part of the medieval and post medieval economy in Highland Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as ND 13 SW 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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