Souterrain (lost): OS Grid Reference – NC 59 57
Also Known as:
Archaeology & History
There are a number of souterrains—or “earth houses” as they used to be known—in Sutherland that have been lost. Many have simply fallen prey to being filled-in or covered over. This is one such site, found in the fields between Tongue village heading out towards the sea-bridge crossing the Kyle. In a brief excursion I made to the area a few days ago, I couldn’t locate the site and no one I spoke to seemed to know anything about it. I’m assuming that the site has simply been blocked-up and overgrown, hiding beneath the green pastures above the sea-line.
Its exact whereabouts is difficult to ascertain, for when it was described in Mr Horsburgh’s (1870) excursion to the area, the location he gave for it was somewhat vague, telling:
“Between Tongue House and Kirkiboll, in a field on the right of the road, there is an Eirde house, which I opened for examination (it had often been opened before); it is now about 25 feet long, 2½ feet broad at the entrance, and widens to 4 feet at the far end, where it terminates in a circle; the sides are built with small stones without mortar, and the top covered with large flat slabs.”
This places the location of the souterrain anywhere in the fields between grid-references NC 5904 5815 to the north (near Tongue House) and NC 5901 5678 to the south. If anyone knows anything about this site, please let us know.
- Horsburgh, James, “Notes of Cromlechs, Duns, Hut-circles, Chambered Cairns and other Remains, in the County of Sutherland“, in Proceedings Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 7, 1870.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian