Ancient Monuments

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Caen, hut circles and souterrain 982m, 1035m and 1083m NNW of

A Scheduled Monument in East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland

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Latitude: 58.1458 / 58°8'44"N

Longitude: -3.6819 / 3°40'54"W

OS Eastings: 301092

OS Northings: 918669

OS Grid: ND010186

Mapcode National: GBR K786.B4D

Mapcode Global: WH5DL.DJY5

Entry Name: Caen, hut circles and souterrain 982m, 1035m and 1083m NNW of

Scheduled Date: 11 December 1934

Last Amended: 16 August 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1841

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Kildonan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: East Sutherland and Edderton

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument is the remains of three roundhouses and a souterrain, probably dating to the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age (between 1500 BC and AD 400). They are visible as the turf-covered upstanding remains of three roundhouses, defined by substantial turf and stone walls. The entrance to a souterrain is visible within the southernmost roundhouse, and the footings of three post-medieval buildings lie adjacent to the northernmost roundhouse. The monument lies at around 90m above sea level, on the hillside above the Caen Burn.

The most northerly of the roundhouses measures about eight metres in diameter within walls up to four metres wide and one metre high, increasing in height to about 1.5m around the southeast facing entrance. This entrance is filled with rubble, and wall facings noted within the tumbled south section of the wall west of this entrance may represent the remains of a souterrain. The footings of three post-medieval buildings, the largest measuring 12.5m in length and three metres across, lie adjacent to this roundhouse and appear to have disturbed its western section. The second roundhouse lies around 59m to the south. It is terraced into the slope and measures about nine metres in diameter within banks around 1.7m in height and 1.5m in width, with an entrance on the southeast. The southernmost roundhouse lies around 102m to the south-southwest and measures around 10m in diameter within a turf and stone bank measuring about 0.75m in height and 1.5m in width, increasing to around three metres wide towards the entrance on the southeast. The entrance to a souterrain is visible within the internal wall face in the eastern arc of this roundhouse. The passage runs under and extends beyond the wall of the roundhouse.

The scheduled area is in three parts, two of which are circular on plan and the third irregular, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive as shown in red on the accompanying map. The monument was first scheduled in 1934 and the documentation does not conform to current standards. The present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Bronze Age and Iron Age society and the construction, use and development of settlement in the north of Scotland. It is a good example of later prehistoric settlement that retains its field characteristics and there is good potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within and around the roundhouses. As a well-preserved example it can significantly expand understanding of domestic buildings, agriculture and economy. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains and with later settlement. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character and development of later prehistoric settlements in Sutherland, society and economy during this period, as well as the long-term use and development of the landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 7444, 7446, 7478 (accessed on 11/05/2016).

The Highland Council HER references are MHG10131, MHG10133, MHG10148.

Fairhurst, H. and Taylor, D. B. (1974) A hut-circle settlement at Kilphedir, Sutherland, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 103, 1970-1.

MacIntyre, A. (1998) Survey and excavation at Kilearnan Hill, Sutherland, 1982-3. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 128, 167-201.

RCAHMS (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS (1993) Strath of Kildonan: an archaeological survey. RCAHMS: Edinburgh.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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