Scheduled Monument

Caen, hut circles and souterrain 982m, 1035m and 1083m NNW ofSM1841

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

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
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse; souterrain, earth-house
Local Authority
ND 01092 18669
301092, 918669


The monument is the remains of three roundhouses and a souterrain, probably dating to the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age (between 1500 BC and AD 400). They are visible as the turf-covered upstanding remains of three roundhouses, defined by substantial turf and stone walls. The entrance to a souterrain is visible within the southernmost roundhouse, and the footings of three post-medieval buildings lie adjacent to the northernmost roundhouse. The monument lies at around 90m above sea level, on the hillside above the Caen Burn.

The most northerly of the roundhouses measures about eight metres in diameter within walls up to four metres wide and one metre high, increasing in height to about 1.5m around the southeast facing entrance. This entrance is filled with rubble, and wall facings noted within the tumbled south section of the wall west of this entrance may represent the remains of a souterrain. The footings of three post-medieval buildings, the largest measuring 12.5m in length and three metres across, lie adjacent to this roundhouse and appear to have disturbed its western section. The second roundhouse lies around 59m to the south. It is terraced into the slope and measures about nine metres in diameter within banks around 1.7m in height and 1.5m in width, with an entrance on the southeast. The southernmost roundhouse lies around 102m to the south-southwest and measures around 10m in diameter within a turf and stone bank measuring about 0.75m in height and 1.5m in width, increasing to around three metres wide towards the entrance on the southeast. The entrance to a souterrain is visible within the internal wall face in the eastern arc of this roundhouse. The passage runs under and extends beyond the wall of the roundhouse.

The scheduled area is in three parts, two of which are circular on plan and the third irregular, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive as shown in red on the accompanying map. The monument was first scheduled in 1934 and the documentation does not conform to current standards. The present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Bronze Age and Iron Age society and the construction, use and development of settlement in the north of Scotland. It is a good example of later prehistoric settlement that retains its field characteristics and there is good potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within and around the roundhouses. As a well-preserved example it can significantly expand understanding of domestic buildings, agriculture and economy. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains and with later settlement. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character and development of later prehistoric settlements in Sutherland, society and economy during this period, as well as the long-term use and development of the landscape.



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 7444, 7446, 7478 (accessed on 11/05/2016).

The Highland Council HER references are MHG10131, MHG10133, MHG10148.

Fairhurst, H. and Taylor, D. B. (1974) A hut-circle settlement at Kilphedir, Sutherland, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 103, 1970-1.

MacIntyre, A. (1998) Survey and excavation at Kilearnan Hill, Sutherland, 1982-3. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 128, 167-201.

RCAHMS (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS (1993) Strath of Kildonan: an archaeological survey. RCAHMS: Edinburgh.

HER/SMR Reference

  • MHG10131
  • MHG10133
  • MHG10148

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.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Caen, hut circles and souterrain 982m, 1035m and 1083m NNW of

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 26/05/2024 22:26