Scheduled Monument

Cnoc Smeordail, hut circles and enclosures, EiggSM10991

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive, rather than ritual or funerary); hut circle, roundhouse
Local Authority
Small Isles
NM 48241 87676
148241, 787676


The monument comprises a prehistoric settlement of 3 hut circles with associated enclosures and field boundaries.

The settlement is situated in a shallow valley between rock outcrops. The valley is aligned NW-SE and overlooked on the NE side by a low rock outcrop. On the SW side it is more open, only partly closed by the rocky knoll of Cnoc Smeordail. Three hut circles occupy slight natural ledges along the axis of the valley. The hut circle to the NW is the largest, measuring 10m in diameter across walls about 1.5m thick. Facing-stones survive around about half the outer circumference, but the interior and the original entrance have been obscured by later constructions, possibly shieling huts. A bank representing the wall of an outer enclosure survives on the W side. 20m to the SE is the second hut circle, measuring about 7.5m in diameter across walls about 1m thick. It has an entrance gap on the E side, opening into an enclosure or yard about 12m by 15m, defined by a low bank. Within this enclosure there is a slight circular foundation less than 5m across. The third hut circle lies a further 60m to the SE. It is about 8m in diameter over walls up to 1.5m thick. The outer wall face survives for two-thirds of the circumference and parts of the inner face are visible on the N side. The entrance has been on the ESE side. A small later construction has been erected inside, doubtless using stone from the hut circle. Various low bank run across parts of the valley floor and along the foot of the rock outcrop which defines it on the NE side, but no coherent field system is obvious. A single typical "figure of eight" shieling hut stands midway along the SW flank of the valley.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, and measures a maximum of 210m NW-SE by 105m NE-SW, to include the 3 hut circles and enclosures plus the later shielings and an area around all of these in which evidence relating to their construction and use is likely to survive. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a small open settlement of later prehistoric date. It has the potential to provide information about marginal agricultural settlement during the Iron Age.



RCAHMS records the monument as NM48NE 55.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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Printed: 20/05/2024 08:03