Scheduled Monument

Dalcrombie, hut circles, settlement & field system 300m NNW ofSM11436

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: field clearance cairn, cairnfield; field or field system; hut circle, roundhouse, Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
Daviot And Dunlichity
NH 60991 28824
260991, 828824


The monument comprises the remains of two prehistoric hut circles, five rectangular structures forming a post-medieval, pre-clearance/improvement township, a large number of clearance cairns and a series of dykes, all sitting on a shelf of slowly rising ground on the upper reaches of a wide valley. They form the best-preserved remains of a wider pattern of dispersed clusters of hut circles, rectangular houses and associated field systems spread across the hillside.

The hut circles are between 4000 and 1500 years old. The northernmost is levelled into the slope, and is approximately 8.5m in diameter with 0.5m high stony walls. The other consists of a 2m thick wall, which no longer survives to the SW, enclosing a 9m diameter interior. Numerous clearance cairns cluster around each hut circle, and along with some of the interspersed dykes are likely to be associated with this phase of prehistoric upland occupation and farming.

The rectangular buildings are clustered together towards the south end of the monument. They are roughly aligned with their axes downhill. The buildings vary in size, reaching up to 16m long by 3.5 m wide, with rubble-faced wall-footings up to 1m in width and 0.3m in height. Several exhibit internal partitions and have evidence for remodelling, suggesting several phases of settlement. The shape and form of these structural footings indicate they are between 300 and 100 years old, although as they are not marked on the 1st edition OS map they may substantially predate its compilation (Inverness-shire 1875, sheet xxx). In contrast to the settlements marked on the early OS maps for the region, which take the form of planned farmsteads, this settlement is irregularly and haphazardly laid out, which would tend to confirm an early nineteenth-century, immediately pre-clearance/improvement date for its occupation.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon which includes the hut circles, later settlement, a sample of the dykes, a number of the nearby cairns and associated archaeological deposits, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The area is dissected by a fence, which is to be excluded from the scheduling.

Statement of National Importance

The monument's archaeological significance is as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument is a well-preserved example of multi-period upland settlement and land-use with upstanding remains of occupation dating from over the last four millennia. There is a high likelihood of associated well-preserved sub-surface remains. It has a high potential to reveal much about site location strategies and changes in farming over a considerable period of time, and of the developing social, cultural and economic lives of the groups that occupied in upland zones from later prehistory until the post-medieval period. Cartographic evidence suggests that the later settlement represents the form and structure of a community runrig township on the eve of clearance and improvement.

National Importance:

The monument is of national importance because it represents well-preserved examples of housing and farming related to the occupation of the upland Highlands over the last four millennia. It has the potential to make a contribution to our understanding of later prehistoric upland land-use and society, to inform future research into post-medieval settlement and how life and land-use changed and developed from the eighteenth to the nineteenth centuries. It has the potential to answer important questions about housing, culture and economy and why this location attracted settlement over time. Through its potential to provide a picture of settlement and society immediately prior to the clearance and improvement of the surrounding landscape this monument has additional potential to shed light on the reasons for, and nature of these socio-economic changes. Its loss would significantly impede our ability to study these questions.



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NH62NW 7.0.

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: 02/04/2023 07:39