Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Achnabat, hut circle 1065m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.3497 / 57°20'58"N

Longitude: -4.3289 / 4°19'44"W

OS Eastings: 259962

OS Northings: 831199

OS Grid: NH599311

Mapcode National: GBR H9P9.7TS

Mapcode Global: WH3FW.GJTH

Entry Name: Achnabat, hut circle 1065m N of

Scheduled Date: 1 March 2007

Last Amended: 16 July 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11828

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Dores

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument is a hut circle, visible as a turf and heather-covered bank with some upright stones, situated on heather moorland to the N of Loch nan Geadas. It is a domestic structure from the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age, dating to the first or second millennium BC.

The hut circle measures 13m in external diameter, with preservation of part of the outer face of contiguous upright stones showing the wall to be approximately 2m wide. An ill-defined entrance lies to the SSE. The ground to the E shows signs of a field system, comprising stone clearance heaps, with occasional lynchets, and field banks delimiting the zone of cultivation.

The area to be scheduled is a circle, centred on the hut circle at NH 59962 31199, to include the hut circle and an area around it within which evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: A well-preserved hut circle on the edge of moorland next to Loch nan Geadas, the site has potential to improve our understanding of prehistoric domestic structures. Lack of intensive cultivation indicates the probability of further archaeological deposits within and immediately outside the visible structure, including environmental and other evidence of associated farming techniques and practices. The adjacent field boundaries and clearance cairns can provide information on economy, subsistence, and patterns of landholding or ownerships.

Contextual characteristics: This hut circle is a component within a much wider landscape of later prehistoric upland farming settlements. Other hut circles and field systems exist 265m to the SE, 310m to the SSE, 390m to the NE, and 670m to the E. Analysis of their spatial distribution may further our understanding of settlement location, economy, and the structure of society. Information gained from the preservation and study of this site can be used to gain an insight into the wider knowledge of upland farming settlements across Scotland.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a well-preserved example of a later prehistoric hut circle with associated field system. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of later prehistoric upland landuse and society, both in this locality and, by association, the rest of Scotland. It offers the capacity to enhance our understanding of upland landuse and human impact on the surrounding landscape over a greater time span. Its loss would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of later prehistoric domestic structures and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NH53 SE 7. It is recorded by the Highland Council SMR as NH53SE0007.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, 1994 C26143, Torr an Daimh Loch Nana Greadeas.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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