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Loch Migdale, henge 160m ESE of Lochend

A Scheduled Monument in North, West and Central Sutherland, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.8927 / 57°53'33"N

Longitude: -4.3223 / 4°19'20"W

OS Eastings: 262431

OS Northings: 891611

OS Grid: NH624916

Mapcode National: GBR H7PV.YPB

Mapcode Global: WH3C5.KWZ9

Entry Name: Loch Migdale, henge 160m ESE of Lochend

Scheduled Date: 2 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10916

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: henge

Location: Creich (Highland)

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland

Description

The monument comprises a henge, a ritual enclosure dating to the Neolithic period, probably between 3500 and 2500 BC in date.

The henge is situated on a low, relatively dry, rise in damp ground, near the W end of Loch Migdale. It is almost exactly circular on plan, and measures about 12m across. An inner platform 7.4m across is surrounded by a ditch 1.1m wide and up to 0.2m deep, outside which is a bank 1.2m wide and up to 0.2m high. The outer face of the bank appears to be revetted with small blocks of stone, laid horizontally. A gap about 0.6m wide in both the outer bank and the ditch on the ESE side of the circuit appears to be the sole original entrance. Conventionally, the single entrance would make this a "Class 1" henge.

Partial excavation in 1971 revealed dark, possibly burnt, earth forming a rim around the central area, and scattered chips of quartz. It is now hard to discern, on the ground, the exact area excavated in that year.

The area to be scheduled is a circle 40m across, concentric with the henge, to include the henge and an area around it in which evidence relating to its construction and use is likely to survive. The area is indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a henge, a prehistoric ritual enclosure dating to the Neolithic period. Very small henges such as this are a characteristic of the eastern coastal zone of Caithness, Sutherland, Easter Ross and Inverness-shire. Despite limited archaeological work in 1971 (still not formally published) the site remains substantially undisturbed and has great potential, through properly conducted investigation, to provide important information about this obscure class of monument: function, mode of construction and contemporary land-use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the site as Loch Migdale, henge, NH69SW 36.

Excavation work was carried out by A. Woodham in 1971, but this work appears to be unpublished (details quoted in RCAHMS records).

References:

Harding A F and Lee G E 1987, HENGE MONUMENTS AND RELATED SITES OF GREAT BRITAIN, Brit Archaeol Rep Brit Ser 175, 377, Item 218.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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