Ancient Monuments

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Kinbrace Hill, prehistoric settlement 1km north west of Kinbrace Farm

A Scheduled Monument in East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland

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Latitude: 58.2394 / 58°14'21"N

Longitude: -3.9307 / 3°55'50"W

OS Eastings: 286743

OS Northings: 929478

OS Grid: NC867294

Mapcode National: GBR J6NY.J6C

Mapcode Global: WH4BY.L5FF

Entry Name: Kinbrace Hill, prehistoric settlement 1km NW of Kinbrace Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 June 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13637

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 a prehistoric settlement consisting of a number of round houses and structures with related field systems and  clearance cairns. The settlement is likely to date to the Iron Age (between 500 BC and AD 500). The monument is located in the Strath of Kildonan, on a gentle southwest facing slope and lies approximately 125m above sea level.

The settlement comprises at least six round houses that survive up to 1.2m in height, constructed of a mixture of earth and stone. The round houses are mostly sub-circular in plan with a diameter ranging from 6m to 13.5m; wall thicknesses vary between 1.5m and 3m. Two round houses have evidence for an attached souterrain; one within or adjacent to the wall of a hut circle and another just outside the entrance to a round house. The remains of field systems are found across the site and consists lynchets, banks and small clearance cairns. There is evidence for at least three sub-rectangluar plots at the north of the site. Further south on the site lies a sub-square plot which appears to overlie lynchets that echo the field system to the north. Numerous clearance cairns are found across the site and are up to 7m in diameter and up to 0.7m in height. A sheepfold, circular in plan and dating to the 19th century, stands in the centre of the site.

The scheduled area is an irregular polygon, to include the remains described above and an area in which evidence for their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the attached map. The scheduling excludes the post-and-wire fence, telegraph poles, modern field drains and the above ground elements of the sheepfold.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of a well-preserved Iron Age settlement which has evidence for domestic structures and their associated field systems. It has an inherent potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the past, in particular the design, construction and use of round houses and field systems in northern Scotland and the Sutherland region. It is expected that nationally important archaeological remains will survive within and immediately outside the structures. The possible remains of a later wag demonstrates the likelihood of a substantial time-depth at the site. Its value is enhanced as one of a group of monuments in a remote upland landscape with possibly contemporary sites in close proximity. 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 other Iron Age and earlier settlements.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 6636 (accessed on 29/04/2015).

Curle, A O. (1911) On the examination of two hut-circles in the Strath of Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, one of which has an earth house attached', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 45, 1910-11. Pages: 18-23.

Fairhurst and Taylor, H and D B. (1974) A hut-circle settlement at Kilphedir, Sutherland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 103, 1970-1. Pages: 65-99.

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. Pages: 124-5.

RCAHMS. (1993). The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Strath of Kildonan: an archaeological survey. Edinburgh. RCAHMS.


HER/SMR Reference

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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