Ancient Monuments

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Cnoc Smeordail, hut circles and enclosures, Eigg

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 56.9118 / 56°54'42"N

Longitude: -6.1375 / 6°8'14"W

OS Eastings: 148241

OS Northings: 787676

OS Grid: NM482876

Mapcode National: GBR CB7G.1K0

Mapcode Global: WGZBL.PJLP

Entry Name: Cnoc Smeordail, hut circles and enclosures, Eigg

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10991

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a prehistoric settlement of 3 hut circles with associated enclosures and field boundaries.

The settlement is situated in a shallow valley between rock outcrops. The valley is aligned NW-SE and overlooked on the NE side by a low rock outcrop. On the SW side it is more open, only partly closed by the rocky knoll of Cnoc Smeordail. Three hut circles occupy slight natural ledges along the axis of the valley. The hut circle to the NW is the largest, measuring 10m in diameter across walls about 1.5m thick. Facing-stones survive around about half the outer circumference, but the interior and the original entrance have been obscured by later constructions, possibly shieling huts. A bank representing the wall of an outer enclosure survives on the W side. 20m to the SE is the second hut circle, measuring about 7.5m in diameter across walls about 1m thick. It has an entrance gap on the E side, opening into an enclosure or yard about 12m by 15m, defined by a low bank. Within this enclosure there is a slight circular foundation less than 5m across. The third hut circle lies a further 60m to the SE. It is about 8m in diameter over walls up to 1.5m thick. The outer wall face survives for two-thirds of the circumference and parts of the inner face are visible on the N side. The entrance has been on the ESE side. A small later construction has been erected inside, doubtless using stone from the hut circle. Various low bank run across parts of the valley floor and along the foot of the rock outcrop which defines it on the NE side, but no coherent field system is obvious. A single typical "figure of eight" shieling hut stands midway along the SW flank of the valley.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, and measures a maximum of 210m NW-SE by 105m NE-SW, to include the 3 hut circles and enclosures plus the later shielings and an area around all of these in which evidence relating to their construction and use is likely to survive. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a small open settlement of later prehistoric date. It has the potential to provide information about marginal agricultural settlement during the Iron Age.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM48NE 55.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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