The monument comprises the remains of a hut circle, probably of late Bronze Age or Iron Age date (first or late second millennium BC). It is visible as a low ring of turf and stones situated on a terrace about 965m WNW of Bannerbank.
Situated in an area of rough grazing, the hut circle is around 7m in diameter and the bank is between 1.3m and 2m in thickness. Standing up to 0.4m in height, the bank is composed mainly of turf, although several large stones are also visible, notably on the west side where the hut circle is recessed into the slope and stone revetment was necessary. A possible entrance may lie on the east side of the hut circle. About 7m to the south-east are the remains of what may be a roughly circular structure, although its purpose and relationship to the hut circle are unclear.
The area proposed for scheduling comprises a circular area, centred on the hut circle, to include the remains described and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.
Statement of National Importance
The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:
The monument consists of a well-preserved later prehistoric hut circle dating to the first or second millennium BC. Given the site's upland location and consequent lack of disturbance through cultivation, the hut circle offers excellent potential for the survival of well-preserved archaeological deposits relating to its construction, occupation and abandonment. Additionally, there is good potential for associated remains, such as middens, cultivation and craft activity, in the area immediately surrounding the hut circle. The monument offers us excellent potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric architecture and domestic activities. Comparison with similar sites elsewhere in Scotland can help identify regional trends and traditions.
The monument lies on a flat tongue of land overlooking the burn between the ridges of Laggan Hill and of James's and William's Hills.
Upstanding remains of unenclosed hut circles generally survive in land where cultivation has either been limited or has never taken place. This gives a skewed perspective of the distribution of later prehistoric settlement, since hut circles would have been found throughout the landscape. In areas subjected to several centuries of arable cultivation, any trace of these structures has been eradicated. Hut circles are often found in loose groups or clusters and sometimes lie close to the remains of associated field systems.
Research into Bronze Age and Iron Age domestic buildings suggests people organised the internal space of hut circles in specific ways. For example, the Bronze Age and Iron Age houses at Cladh Hallan on South Uist clearly showed certain activities taking place in specific parts of the house, based partly on practical considerations as well as social conventions and (possibly) spiritual or ritual beliefs.
This hut circle is associated with the prominent local archaeologist, Frank Newall, who discovered it in 1963. Newall's valuable work, which ranges from identifying Mesolithic flint-knapping sites to the excavation of a Roman fortlet, forms the basis of our present-day understanding of the area's prehistoric and Roman period archaeology.
The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular Bronze or Iron Age society and the nature of later prehistoric domestic settlement. The good level of preservation, lack of recent cultivation, and survival of marked field characteristics, enhance this potential. The loss of the example would significantly impede our ability to understand domestic architecture of the later prehistoric period in this part of Scotland.