NS3072 : Possible hut circles on Burnhead Moor

taken 9 years ago, 4 km from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, Great Britain

Possible hut circles on Burnhead Moor
Possible hut circles on Burnhead Moor
A number of hut circles and ancient enclosures have already been reported from these moors. The majority of these discoveries were made by the Renfrewshire archaeologist Frank Newall.

Three such sites are known from the immediate vicinity of the area shown in this photograph; for those reports, see (1) LinkExternal link (2) LinkExternal link (3) LinkExternal link (all at Canmore). The first of those reports corresponds to NS3072 : Remains of enclosures; the other two are about sites just to the north and west of those enclosures.

However, the rather faint feature that is shown in this photograph lies about 65 metres to the east of the enclosures; it seems, therefore, that this particular site had not been reported until now. It is noticeable on some satellite imagery (although to what extent very much depends on when those images were taken); see the link in the end-note for a satellite view centred on this feature.

The NW circle of the pair is shown here at the centre of the photograph, and it fills most of the width of the image. For a view from a different angle, see NS3072 : Possible hut circles on Burnhead Moor. The area is flat, and falls away at its northern rocky edge. In both photographs, traces of a low circular ridge can be seen on the elevated upper surface (most notably at the link just cited).

These circular features might be hut circles (the conventional name given to the remains of roundhouses circular dwellings of various kinds dating from the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age); if this interpretation is correct, then the overlapping circles indicate that a later building was erected on almost the same spot as an earlier one (a good location was likely to be re-used). As mentioned above, several rather more visible hut circles have already been recorded from other parts of the moor (see NS2973 : Lurg Moor Roman fortlet for the relevant links).

The area shown in the present photograph is flat, and is slightly elevated above the surrounding moorland; it would have provided an ideal platform for a dwelling. However, the traces visible on the ground here are slight, and it would take a more expert appraisal than mine to definitely identify them as genuine hut circles. Nevertheless, the feature shown in the present photograph may merit further examination; to that end, I have submitted a report to WoSAS (that report also includes the feature described below).

Similar circular features can be seen nearby; one of them is located just 55 metres to the east: NS3072 : Possible hut circle on Burnhead Moor.
Possible hut circles
Two overlapping circular features, each approximately 13 metres in diameter, can be seen here on a slight elevation on the moor. See LinkExternal link for a satellite view centred on this feature, which presents the appearance of two overlapping circles of equal size (roughly 13 metres in diameter), the centre of one being located NW of the centre of the other.
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NS3072, 36 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 25 September, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 30 September, 2010
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Hut circle   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3006 7247 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:54.9130N 4:43.2437W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3006 7245
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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Other Tags
Hut Circle  Burnhead Muir  Archaeology 

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