Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Achratagan, hut circle and cairnfield 790m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.3543 / 57°21'15"N

Longitude: -4.5814 / 4°34'53"W

OS Eastings: 244793

OS Northings: 832256

OS Grid: NH447322

Mapcode National: GBR H928.S77

Mapcode Global: WH3FR.LDLZ

Entry Name: Achratagan, hut circle and cairnfield 790m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 27 September 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11456

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 a hut circle and associated field system, between 4000 and 1500 years old, situated on the edge of a terrace on a hillside moor.

The hut circle is oval in plan, measuring 11.4 m from NW to SE by 9.1 m transversely, within a stony bank 2.1 m thick and 0.5 m high and with an entrance to the SE. The ground surface of the lower part of the slope has been built up to provide a level interior for the structure. There are numerous contemporary clearance cairns, measuring up to 6 m in diameter, covering the rest of the terrace, and on the slope below the hut circle. A relatively recent shooting butt is also located on the terrace amidst the cairns.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular quadrangle on plan, centred on the hut circle, to include the hut circle, the majority of the clearance cairns and an area around in which associated evidence 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: The monument is a characteristic and well-preserved example of a later prehistoric upland farming settlement. 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 well-preserved hut circle, 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 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



This monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NH43SW54.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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