Scheduled Monument

Suidhe, depopulated townshipSM10661

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
20/01/2004
Type
Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Parish
Kilfinichen And Kilvickeon
NGR
NM 37087 21934
Coordinates
137087, 721934

Description

The monument comprises a depopulated township of medieval and later date, visible as upstanding remains.

The township is situated on the Ross of Mull, about 1200m WNW of Bunessan and 350m S of the southern shore of Loch na Lathaich, at about 50m OD. The settlement site, which slopes downwards slightly towards the loch, has extensive views over the loch and surrounding countryside.

A settlement is known to have existed in this location from at least 1654, when Blaeu's map depicted the site of 'Suy'. By 1881, the Ordnance Survey First Edition map depicted one unroofed building, five roofed buildings, one enclosure and a head dyke. Five unroofed buildings, one enclosure and the head dyke are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1976). The township had been completely abandoned by the 1940s.

A survey in 1991 confirmed that the pre-crofting township includes houses of drystone and of mortared construction. Several structures showed evidence of more than one period of use, such as blocked doors and windows. This impression is reinforced by the differential preservation of the structures, some surviving to gable height, and others much more reduced. Several houses also showed evidence of either a lean-to outbuilding or of an earlier structure at one gable end. Other structures had round gables and one had rounded lower courses corbelled out to a square from about 1m above foundation level. The different character of the buildings results from the different functions they served; one building in particular seems to represent a more prestigious dwelling. Field banks, built of stone-and-turf or turf alone, denoting agricultural divisions and also probably indicating more than one period of construction, were traced radiating away from the settlement. A stack field with boundary wall still in place is located immediately S of the settlement.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is an irregular polygon in shape, with maximum dimensions of 101m N-S by 104m E-W (115m WSW-ENE), as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of post-medieval, and possibly medieval, settlement and economy. Its importance is increased by the cartographic and survey evidence that this site was occupied and adapted over a period of at least several hundred years.

References

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NM32SE 18.

References:

Gray I and Gilfillan E 1990, 'Cnoc an t-suidhe (Bunessan parish), cairn, fieldbanks, settlement', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 32.

Gray I and Gilfillan E 1991, 'Cnoc an t-suidhe, Mull (Kilfinichen & Kilvickeon parish): cairn, fieldbanks, settlement', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 52.

Map references:

Blaeu, J 1654 Mula Insula, quae ex Aebudarum numero una est, et Lochabriae ad occasum praetenditur. The Yle of Mul which is one of the Westerne Yles, and lyeth ovir against Lochabyr / Auct. Timothy Pont.

Ordnance Survey 1881 First Edition Map (Argyllshire), sheet cxvii, 6 inches to 1 mile.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 21/11/2018 20:58