Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

St Kilda, Gleann Mor, settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 57.8185 / 57°49'6"N

Longitude: -8.5971 / 8°35'49"W

OS Eastings: 8544

OS Northings: 900101

OS Grid: NA085001

Mapcode National: GBR 5851.WM3

Mapcode Global: WGQX0.XRB4

Entry Name: St Kilda, Gleann Mor, settlement

Scheduled Date: 6 February 1963

Last Amended: 21 May 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2277

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement; Secular: field system

Location: Harris

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument comprises the extensive and dense remains of clusters of prehistoric and later settlement and an associated field system. It is situated at the north end of Gleann Mor on either side of the Abhainn a'Ghlinne Mhoir. The monument was first scheduled in 1963, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The structures take a variety of forms, but many are fragmentary cellular, corbelled structures, with associated 'horns'. The most famous of these is the structure known since at least 1697 as the 'Amazon's House' (NA 0879 0009). This is set into the hill and has a central chamber and linked cells, all roofed over with turf-covered corbelling. It was reported in 1697, when this building was already the subject of legend, that 'some of the inhabitants dwell in it all summer, though it be some hundred years old.' Excavations elsewhere on the island now suggest that many of the structures in Gleann Mor could well be prehistoric in origin. It is unknown if settlement was permanent at any point; it was certainly seasonal in recent centuries. Cleitean (small drystone structures used for storage) litter the area, as elsewhere on St Kilda. One of the best surviving examples of 'lazy beds' on the island is to be found in the north-western extremity of the site.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, reflecting the density of activity which itself is largely dictated by the topography. Its maximum dimension NW-SE is c.900m by 645m transversely, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the above ground features and an area around them in which associated remains may survive.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved area of multi-period remains that is a key component of the wider St. Kilda archaeological landscape. Within this area are a variety of upstanding, early structures that are exceptionally well-preserved and apparently unique to St. Kilda. These remains have the potential to provide important information about life on St. Kilda through the millennia, an extreme existence that has been of enormous interest to Scottish and international observers from early times.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NA 00 SE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.