Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Loch nam Faoileag, hut circles 730m NNW of Wester Balnagrantach

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.3558 / 57°21'20"N

Longitude: -4.5098 / 4°30'35"W

OS Eastings: 249105

OS Northings: 832267

OS Grid: NH491322

Mapcode National: GBR H978.WG8

Mapcode Global: WH3FS.PCNS

Entry Name: Loch nam Faoileag, hut circles 730m NNW of Wester Balnagrantach

Scheduled Date: 27 September 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11455

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Urquhart and Glenmoriston

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises three hut circles, between 4000 and 1500 years old, situated on a gently sloping terrace in moorland on a hillside.

The hut circles are between 7.1 m and 5.8 m in diameter internally, within stony banks 0.3 m high which have spread to 2 m in places, but have defined, exposed faces of coursed masonry visible in others. All are scooped into the hillside, which is dotted with at least 20 small clearance cairns. There is also an enclosure bank surrounding the hut circles and most of the cairns. A modern pipe trench and adjacent services trackway, cumulatively 3 m wide, traverses the terrace, separating one of the hut circles from the others.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangle on plan, clipped to the NE by a trackway and centred on the hut circles, to include the hut circles, some of the clearance cairns, a portion of dyke, and an area around in which associated evidence may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the pipe trench and top 0.3 m of the trackway, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument consists of a characteristic and extremely well-preserved example of a later prehistoric upland farming settlement. It includes well-defined upstanding features, and subsequent landuse as pasture and moorland has resulted in a high probability of the preservation of further archaeological deposits within and immediately outside the visible structures, including environmental and other evidence of associated farming techniques and practices. It therefore has the potential to reveal information about local variations in domestic architecture and building use, as well as upland prehistoric landuse.

Contextual characteristics: As a group of well-preserved hut circles, this monument has the potential to reveal much about the attitudes to house building and living in houses of later prehistoric communities in Highland. Comparing this to others outside the region can create an understanding of regional identities and differing lifestyles, economies and belief systems.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a particularly well-preserved and characteristic example of its class. 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 has the potential to provide specific information about settlement and building styles in Highland in later prehistory, as well as a wider understanding of upland landuse and human impact on the surrounding landscape over a greater time span. The loss of this well-preserved example would impact upon future ability to understand these issues.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NH43SE 39. It is recorded in the Highland SMR as NH43SE0046.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS, 1998, D28033, Loch nam Faoileag.

RCAHMS, 1997, D16846CN, Loch nam Faoileag.

RCAHMS, 1997, D14962, Loch nam Faoileag.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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