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LOCH NA BERIE - Rectilinear Structures

LOCH NA BERIE - Rectilinear Structures

Summary:

BUILDING (Viking to Pre Clearance - 790 AD to 1860 AD)
ENCLOSURE (Undated)
SETTLEMENT (Viking to Pre Clearance - 790 AD to 1860 AD)
Pre-Clearance buildings and enclosures

Location:

NB 104 352

Full description:

NB13NW 29

Two unroofed buildings and two enclosures are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Island of Lewis, Ross-shire 1854, sheet 17). They are not shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1974).
Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 22 September 1997.

no. 49
Three rectilinear structures are visible as raised areas in the marshy field in which Loch na Berie lies. The structures are indicated as unoccupied on the 1st edition Ordnance survey map surveyed in 1850, which also indicates another, fourth structure in the group. None of these structures has any obvious entrance.
The northernmost of the group lies on the modern fence-line and is truncated by a modern ditch draining Loch na Berie. No structural remains are visible in the drainage section. This structure has dimensions of c. 20m north-east/south-west by 6m.
South of this is a rectilinear structure 19m north-west/south-east by 8m externally. It is divided by a partition into a sout-eastern area of 9m by 6m internally and a north-western area of 4m by 6m internally.
To the west of this and south of the first structure is a further structure 8,5m east-west by 6.5m north-wouth with a wall c. 1m wide.
A further structure, possibly an enclosure, is recorded to the south on the 1sdt edition map. None of the structures are recorded on the 2nd or subsequent editions of the Ordnance Survey coverage.
The dating of this group of structures is intriguing. Their location at the modern winter water table argues for an early date, certainly earlier than the string of blackhouse settlements along the hillfoots. Morphologically too, they are hard to relate to these blackhouse settlements. Probing of the structures revealed no trace of stone, indicating a construction of turf or timber. This agains supports an early date. The structures must post-date the occupation of the eighth century structures in Loch na Berie, on the basis of their geomorphological setting. The most likely interpretation is that they occupied the shores of Loch na Berie when the loch was larger and in the process of infilling. They are perhaps most likely to date from the Norse-medieval period.
Armit 1992, 63

References:

Ian Armit. 1992. CFA, University of Edinburgh Archaeological Field Survey of the Bhaltos (Valtos) Peninsula, Lewis.
1994. 'Archaeological field survey of the Bhaltos (Valtos) peninsula, Lewis', Proc Soc Antiq Scot. Part No 124. No.49, 86-7

Acknowledgement:

Information provided by Western Isles Council Sites & Monuments Record, January 2006.

 

Title: LOCH NA BERIE - Rectilinear Structures
Record Type: Historical/ Archaeological Sites
Type: Enclosure
Period: Crofting (1850-1950 AD)
SMR Record ID: MWE72742
Grid Ref Northing: 935200
Grid Ref Easting: 110400
Record Maintained By: CEU
Subject Id: 33081