Ancient Monuments

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Sron Uamha, hut circle 280m north east of Sron Uamha cave

A Scheduled Monument in South Kintyre, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.2907 / 55°17'26"N

Longitude: -5.758 / 5°45'28"W

OS Eastings: 161497

OS Northings: 606059

OS Grid: NR614060

Mapcode National: IRL WR.X839

Mapcode Global: GBR DG5Q.MB7

Entry Name: Sron Uamha, hut circle 280m NE of Sron Uamha cave

Scheduled Date: 15 August 1975

Last Amended: 14 June 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3731

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Southend

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: South Kintyre

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a prehistoric hut circle or roundhouse, likely to date to the Iron Age (between 500 BC and AD 500) or earlier. It survives as a low, roughly circular stone wall, up to 1.8m thick. The interior space is approximately 10.5m in diameter. A later shieling is located immediately outside the NNE arc of the house wall. The hut circle is located some 20m from the cliff edge on a slight knoll at the southernmost point of Kintyre. It lies 110m E of the Fort Burn at 105m above sea level. The monument was first scheduled in 1975, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular, measuring 20m in diameter, and includes the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

Overall, the hut circle survives in good condition and it has not been disturbed by robbing or past excavation. Today the site is obscured by vegetation and only part of its lower courses in the SW arc are visible, but surveyors in the 1960s and 70s observed substantial stretches of the outer face which, in its best preserved section in the SSE, stood up to 0.85m high in five courses. This monument is sited in such a remote location that, other than becoming heather-covered, its condition is unlikely to have changed since the 1970s. The position of the entrance is unclear, but it may be in the NE arc where a much later structure, thought to be a twin-celled shieling, is now located. There are also slight traces of a possible D-shaped enclosure in a level area SW of the building, measuring around 10m by 22m.

Important evidence for the form and construction of the hut circle is likely to be preserved. There is high potential for the survival of buried deposits and features beneath and beyond the walls and within the building. Investigation of the interior could enhance our understanding of the date of the building, any development sequence, how long it remained in use, and how its use may have changed over time. Buried artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence can contribute to our understanding of how people lived and worked, the extent and nature of trade and exchange, and the nature of the agricultural economy. Pollen and other environmental analyses can indicate the character of the contemporary landscape and provide evidence for how the inhabitants managed and farmed the land. The monument therefore has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the nature of Iron Age settlement and the design and development of domestic dwellings.

The classification of this monument as a hut circle or roundhouse, rather than a dun or broch, stems from the fact that it is smaller than many duns in this part of Scotland and not on a prominent knoll or outcrop. This single building is not a defensive structure and is not large enough to have been an enclosure containing more than one building. The hut circle is therefore relatively unusual and has the potential to enhance our understanding of later prehistoric life and the nature of domestic structures in this part of Argyll and further afield.

Contextual characteristics

This hut circle is one of a over 500 broadly contemporary sites dating to the Iron Age in this part of Scotland, including brochs, forts, duns, crannogs and hut circles. Non-defensive Iron Age sites are relatively unusual in Argyll. It is interesting that, although the hut circle is not defensive, it is located only 250m E of Sron Uamha fort, which has triple defences and is one of the most impressive forts in Argyll. A dun also lies about 1km E of the hut circle. If these sites are broadly contemporary, it is possible that the hut circle was part of a wider network of settlements and defensive sites, with different sites fulfilling different functions. Further study could help to refine our understanding of the landscape context of the hut circle and its relationship with other sites in Kintyre, in particular, the relationship between this hut circle and the spectacular fort only 250m to the W. Both occupy a position of considerable strategic importance overlooking the North Channel, a major junction between the seaways that connect Ireland, NW England and the Isle of Man with the Firth of Clyde and the Hebridean islands to the NW.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance as an example of a well-preserved prehistoric house. It has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the design, construction and use of hut circles in western Scotland and the Irish Sea region. There is high potential for well-preserved archaeological remains to survive within and immediately outside the building. The house is also important because it occupies a strategic location, overlooking the North Channel at the southernmost point of Kintyre. Unusually for the area, the house is not itself a defended settlement. Its value is enhanced as one of a group of monuments in a very remote landscape, with the hut circle notable as a domestic dwelling apparently without defences. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand late prehistoric domestic buildings in Scotland and the relationship between single houses, forts and duns in the Iron Age.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as NR60NW 4. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is WOSASPIN 2903.


The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1971, Argyll: an inventory of the monuments, volume 1: Kintyre, p. 98, no. 250. Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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