Ancient Monuments

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Lochan Nighean Dughaill, shielings at head of Gleann Charadail, Eigg

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 56.8938 / 56°53'37"N

Longitude: -6.1863 / 6°11'10"W

OS Eastings: 145149

OS Northings: 785854

OS Grid: NM451858

Mapcode National: GBR CB3H.H6J

Mapcode Global: WGY9F.YZ9J

Entry Name: Lochan Nighean Dughaill, shielings at head of Gleann Charadail, Eigg

Scheduled Date: 23 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11004

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: shieling

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a group of shielings around a small basin of grazing land, together with a line of storage buildings constructed along a scree-filled gully.

Six shieling huts, several of them double-compartmented, lie on the flanks of a shallow basin of good grazing land at the head of Gleann Charadail. At the very head of the stream valley, the stream drains down through a gully which is filled with small boulders. Into this have been dug at least 4 small stone-walled chambers. The largest examples are both 5m long internally by 2.5m wide and have an internal dividing wall. There may well be more similar structures, as the boulders of the gully are by no means stable.

Although it has been suggested that the structures in the gully are places of refuge or even locations for ritual, it is more likely that they are cold stores for dairy produce, utilising the natural refrigeration properties of the water running under the boulders. In plan they are not unlike shielings, but the cold, damp location makes it seem highly unlikely that they were ever sleeping places.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include the shielings on the open hillside, the area around and between them and the bottom and sides of the gully into which the storage places have been dug. This area measures a maximum of 305m from just E of N to just W of S by a maximum of 185m E-W, and is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of a group of shielings and associated storehouses which take maximum advantage of natural topography. It has the potential to provide important information about medieval and post-medieval pastoral practices and upland land use and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NM48NE 26.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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