Ancient Monuments

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Airigh a' Choire Ghlais, shielings

A Scheduled Monument in Highland, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.5415 / 56°32'29"N

Longitude: -4.3102 / 4°18'36"W

OS Eastings: 258045

OS Northings: 741225

OS Grid: NN580412

Mapcode National: GBR HCQF.BCZ

Mapcode Global: WH3KR.RVP2

Entry Name: Airigh a' Choire Ghlais, shielings

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10721

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: shieling

Location: Kenmore

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Highland

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a shieling ground, containing the remains of at least eighty-seven huts, at least thirty-four smaller structures and several enclosures or stells, visible as upstanding features. Sheilings were temporary settlements related to the summer movement of livestock to high pastures and date to the centuries immediately prior to the Improvement period.

The sheiling ground lies between 500m and 540m OD, spread across the north facing valley of the Allt Bail a' Mhuilinn. There are several distinct types of structure present: subrectangular dwelling huts reduced to low turf mounds, or visible as grass-covered turf and stone banks; subrectangular drystone dwelling huts, often with an external earth embankment; smaller huts often seen to accompany a dwelling hut, which may be small pantries or dairy stores; and small drystone pens or stells.

Many of the dwelling huts have extensive exterior midden mounds immediately adjacent to their entrances; many have aumbries visible within their interior walls; several have upright stones, possibly indicating the hearth, set immediately adjacent to the interior of the entrance; and a few have small outshot walls or banks extending from the main structure.

Several of the buildings are slightly larger than the average. The largest structure (NN 5820 4090) is subrectangular on plan, measuring 10.5m from NE to SW by 2m transversely within a drystone rubble wall 0.8m in thickness and up to 1.1m in height. There are two compartments, with the partition wall placed to create a slightly larger compartment on the NE. Each compartment has an entrance in the NW side. Although the exterior of this structure is partially embanked with earth, several of these larger drystone buildings are not - and several have gables, multiple aumbries and cruck slots.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible features and the area immediately around and between them. It is irregular on plan with maximum dimensions of 1100m from NNE to SSW by 500m transversely, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The western boundary of the designated area follows the 530m contour. The eastern boundary of the designated area follows, for the most part, the W edge of the current access track.

On the N, the boundary follows the S edge of the modern road. On the S, the boundary passes to the N of the hydroelectric intakes before including those structures and the area immediately around and between them on the ridge that extends to the SW. The current access track is specifically excluded from the scheduling, as is the modern footbridge.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the social and economic practices and conditions of the 17th and 18th centuries in the locality. Its importance is greatly enhanced by the complexity of the structural remains present - and the likelihood of their representing several centuries of the use and reuse of this shieling ground. Its importance is further enhanced by its association with the fine collection of contemporary plans and documents in the Breadalbane Muniments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NN54SE 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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