Archaeology

  • Lime kiln. Limestone was roasted with layers of peat or other fuel to create lime fertiliser
  • A survey on Dùn Coillich found over 40 archaeological sites
  • Shieling Hut, one of the archaeological sites on Dùn Coillich
  • Sunken Track, one of the archaeological sites on Dùn Coillich

An Archaeological Survey was carried out in 2004 - 2005 by Claire Thomas, Dùn Coillich’s archaeologist. Prior to the survey, 3 sites were known. The survey identified at least 43 including prehistoric hut circles, field boundaries, field banks and rigs, oblong structures or enclosures, shieling huts, tracks and sunken tracks and lime kilns.

The sites  indicate habitation and agricultural activity since prehistoric times. Most of the evidence for permanent occupation comes from the area to the east of Dùn Coillich, on either side of the Allt Glengoulandie. Isolated shieling huts suggest that some of this ground may at times have been used just for seasonal grazing.

There is clear evidence for transhumance, or seasonal grazing, and possibly also for hunting, in the area to the south of Dùn Coillich. No sites were recognised in the north west portion of the property, probably due to the denseness of the heather. 

The hut-circles indicate human occupation in late prehistoric times, from approximately 1500 BC to AD 500. The lack of field systems associated with these structures may be explained by the later banks.

The surviving field systems demonstrate agricultural activity in medieval or post-medieval times. The extent and layout of the banks suggests a planned, rather than haphazard, development. These systems definitely predate the 19th century head dyke.

The stone building, with its two nearby enclosures, may be contemporary with the field systems, but is possibly later.

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