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ROUGH ISLAND - GARBH EILEAN

Page 2 - Sites RI 19 to RI 46

Map of Rough Island Sites

RI 19 Island Map NGR NG 4186 9869
Interpretation:
Platform. Positive.
Location: At the very north end of the east coast cliffs. At their base junction with the raw scree.
Description: The platform is constructed on the scree against the foot of the cliffs on a sheep path that is climbing up along the cliff/scree interface. A rough piled stone wall has been erected across the sheep path at the north side. The east side out onto the scree is open, but has been revetted with at least three courses drystone walling. The platform and the revetting blend into the scree slope to the south. 
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured field sketch drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 3. Print 79.
Notes: This site has been given an early modern date in the assumption it is connected with puffin hunting carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries, but of course this occupation and monument type could apply to any period.

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RI 20 Island Map NGR NG 4186 9868
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: In association with the platform RI 19. To the south and further up the sheep path along the base of the cliff on the scree.
Description: A drystone wall 0.70m. high has been constructed in an arc across the route of the sheep present path at the cliff base. There is a gap at both ends that almost appears to be deliberate to leave the path unimpeded. Several large natural boulders have been utilised in the construction. There is a strong possibility that this structure is in fact a hide used for puffin hunting and similar in function to the platform RI 19.
Provisional date: Early modern with the same comments as for RI 19.
Recording: A measured stone by stone plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic recording: Black and White. Film 3. Print 80.

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RI 21 Island Map NGR NG 4191 9875
Interpretation:
Shelter. Tentative.
Location: To the west side of the north settlement area RI 14.
Description: A possible relic shelter or part of the medieval settlement is suggested for this site which has little surviving form to make positive identification possible. A possible natural mound at the south end has a 6m. length of slightly curved earth and stone banked walling stretching from it to the north. From its eastern side is just the suggestion of further structural stone and earth stretching for 4.5m.
Provisional date:
Medieval or early modern.
Recording: A measured plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 3. Print 83.

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RI 22 Island Map NGR NG 4179 9883   
Interpretation:
Kelp kilns. Positive.
Location:  On a small low coastal shelf just above the storm beach at the northern landing place.
Description: A massive upright stone slab 1.50m. long and 0.70m. high separates two open ended rectangular compartments of 1.70x1m. east and west with a further third compartment co-joining  the back southern wall of the east compartment. The structure is composed of rocks of all sizes many of them displaced and scattered.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A stone by stone measured plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Prints 85-87.

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RI 23 Island Map NGR NG 4171 9882
Interpretation:
Platform. Positive.
Location: To the west of the kelp burners hut RI 9 in the scree at the bottom of its northerly slope.
Description: A very slightly downward slope of the grassy level platform is revetted at the northern leading edge by a low drystone wall of several courses.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording. A measured field sketch drawn. (V+J).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 91.
Note: It is not inconceivable that this platform was also used for kelp burning.

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RI 24 Island Map NGR NG 4170 9882
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: Immediately to the west of the platform RI 23.
Description: A roughly circular wall of earth and stone 3m. diameter uses several natural boulders of the scree to complete its form. There is a possible second shelter co-joining on the eastern side, but its structure and form is very indistinct.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured field sketch drawn. (V+J).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 92.
Note: The association of forms and location of this pair of closely positioned sites RI 23 and 24 at the edge of the scree is similar to those higher up on the eastern scree, the platform RI 19 and shelter RI 20 and it may be that an association with the kelp burning industry should not be sought, but rather that the same puffin hunting function could also operate here.

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RI 25 Island Map NGR NG 4167 9855
Interpretation:
Boat shaped stone setting. Tentative.
Location: Set back from a crag edge, yet still commanding the skyline from below, overlooking the valley dividing the height of Mullach Buidhe from the south-eastern triangle of Airighean na Carnaiche Moire.
Description: This is the less convincing of the boat shapes since its ground plan is more oval than elliptical. Orientated north-east to south-west it is looking towards the distant mountains of Skye. The oval is 6x3.5m. diameter and consist of a single line of set stones except along the northern edge that appears to have eroded away and at present there is only bare exposed bed rock. A few stones are set in a line across the oval towards the northerly end.
Provisional date: Norse.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 95.

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RI 26 Island Map NGR NG 4155 9865
Interpretation:
Boat shaped stone setting. Positive.
Location: On the upper heights of Mullach Buidhe to the east of the summit on the shoulder of a shallow dyke but close to or on the skyline from several directions.
Description: Orientated north to south an elliptical shape 5.5x2m. of set stones with a pointed end to the north aimed at a visible prominent eastward jutting headland of Lewis and a blunted end to the south.
Provisional date: Norse.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 96.

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RI 27 Island Map NGR NG 4147 9867
Interpretation:
Cairn. Positive.
Location: On the summit of Mullach Buidhe used at a base for the trig point.
Description: Grassed pile of unstructured stones with concrete trig point set in its centre.
Provisional date: Possibly prehistoric, but most likely modern.
Recording: Photographic only.
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 97.

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RI 28 Island Map NGR NG 4140 9848
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: On a level area below a set of crag on the southern slope of Mullach Buidhe and almost in the central position of the island.
Description: A horseshoe setting of single stones 4x3.5m. orientated north to south with the bow end to the north and the open end facing down the slope to the south.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 98.

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RI 29 Island Map NGR NG 4144 9830
Interpretation:
Enclosure. Positive.
Location: In a high valley position below and to the west of the Airighean na Carnaiche Moire upland. Occupying a broad depression in the gently sloping valley floor.
Description: An irregular oval 17x39m. in diameter of single spaced set stones that encompass a natural mound at its southern inner edge. There is a possible gap in the northern edge but since much of the stonework is deeply embedded into the peat soil it may just be buried completely at this point.
Provisional date: Because of the apparent embedding of many of the stones a medieval date is tentatively suggested up to early modern.
Recording. A field sketch made. (PJF).
Photographic record: None.

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RI 30 Island Map NGR NG 4121 9858
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: At a high point in the valley that runs from the cliff tops at Glaic na Crotha in the north down to the settlement area of Airighean na h-Annaid in the south. The site is marked on the early Harvie-Brown map and may be represented on the current OS map as a short line of walling set at right angles to the main dyke wall.
Description: The valley is divided down the centre by a drystone head dyke wall onto which the shelter and its associated buildings are either butted or incorporated. The shelter is a small 1.50m. internal space diameter with no apparent entrance. Constructed of drystone walling 0.25m. to 0.35m. wide and several courses high. The west side is co-joined to the head dyke wall. To the south of the shelter and connected to it is a larger D shaped platform also attached to the dyke wall. On the platform may have been some structure because there is much displaced stonework but it is without form.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured field sketch drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 99.

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RI 31 Island Map NGR NG 4116 9843
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: On the northern edge of the settlement or activity area at Airighean na h-Annaid at the base of a crag edge.
Description: A small one metre internal space shelter of store of single stone blocks set closely in a circle against a large natural boulder without apparent access.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 100.

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RI 32 Island Map NGR NG 4118 9841
Interpretation:
Sheiling. Positive.
Location: On gently sloping ground on the west side of the valley in the Airighean na h-Annaid group.
Description: A substantial squared construction 4.25x3.50m. (2.5x1.5m. internal space) built of drystone walling enclosing a stone and earthen core with an entrance in the northern corner. There is a strong possibility that this is an adaptation of an earlier cell building, which itself may have used an existing structure for there is a distinctive circular mound of just over 6m. that underlies the present upstanding building and which cannot all be accounted for as grassed over wall tumble.
Provisional date: Early modern with earlier.
Recording: A measured ground plan drawn.
Photographic recording: Black and White. Film 4. Print 101.

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RI 33 Island Map NGR NG 4115 9840
Interpretation:
Sheiling. Positive.
Location: In the centre of the h-Annaid group on a small but prominent rocky shelf on the western side of the valley. The site is marked prominently as a square building on the current OS map and as a ruin on Harvie-Brown’s map.
Description: A rectangular building of 6.25x4.25m. standing to a metre high, with well rounded external corners (4x1.75m. internal space with sharp angled corners) orientated north-east to south-west. The north and south-west internal corners are modified to oblique angles by the presence of recessed cupboards and a further cupboard is built into the centre of the south-west wall. The two western cupboards are 0.40m. wide and 0.75m. deep while the north corner cupboard is slightly smaller. All are capped with large lintel slabs. The entrance, 0.30m. wide, is in a central position on the northern side. At the north-eastern end a semi-circular apse forms an apparent integral part of the structure adding a further 1.50m. to the overall length, but its southerly half is missing, presumably collapsed or dismantled. There may have been an entrance at the southerly junction with the main building since no damage joint is apparent. The ground plan is very chapel like with nave and apse, but presumably the small extension is some form of store. A mass of nettles spreads from the eastern end for some 8m. indicating the presence of a possible midden.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Colour Print. Film 3. Prints 70-72. Black and White. Film 4. Prints 116-119.
Notes: Rat damage is extensive and prominently visible by the burrow holes in the walls. Their presence was verified by actual observation while surveying.

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RI 34 Island Map NGR NG 4115 9841
Interpretation:
Sheiling. Positive.                  
Location: On a higher rocky out crop to the north and above the sheiling RI 33 in the h-Annaid group.
Description: A less substantial building than the other sheilings in the group with much of its structure either tumbled or robbed. The general ground plan appears to be of a sub-rectangular single cell building with an internal space of 3x2m. The walling is fragmentary making the identification of the original entrance difficult, but a doorway is suggested to the north where at least one strong wall face is intact. to the south and butted up to is a small possibly square shelter or store set on a platform that has eroded out at the southern edge and from which any stonework is missing.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured ground plan with individual stonework plotted drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 102.

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 RI 35 Island Map NGR NG 4110 9850
Interpretation:
Cairn. Positive.
Location: High on the west side of the valley separating the western uplands from the rest of the island.
Description: An unstructured low pile of earth and a few stones.
Provisional date: Bronze Age.
Recording: Photographic only.
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 103.

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RI 36 Island Map NGR NG 4109 9851
Interpretation:
Cairn. Positive.
Location: A few metres north of cairn RI 35.
Description: An unstructured low pile of a few stones and earth.
Provisional date: Bronze Age.
Recording: Photographic only.
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 104.

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 RI 37 Island Map NGR NG 4096 9877
Interpretation:
Mound with standing stone. Positive.
Location: On the northern high point of the western triangle uplands.
Description: A low earthen mound of approximately 1.5m. diameter is surmounted by a small standing stone of 0.20m.
Provisional date: Prehistoric to early modern. Difficult to suggest a sensible date since this could easily be either of prehistoric significance or a navigational marker of any pre-modern period.
Recording: Photographic only.
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 105.

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RI 38 Island Map NGR NG 4128 9822
Interpretation:
Sheiling. Positive.
Location: In the eastern corner of a wall that encloses a block of sloping southern coastal shelf to the east of the central head dyke wall.
Description: The enclosure wall runs north to south. The sheiling is on west the inside. A substantial wall of stone faced banked earth forms an L shape to the wall 4.75x2.25m. leaving an entrance gap against the enclosure wall at the north end. A at the southern wide end a single stone setting 3.25m. long closes the gap to the enclosure wall. A further less distinct curved stone setting butts to the enclosure wall and the end of the L shaped wall to add a further 2m to the overall length of the building and provides a possible store room area.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Coloured Print. Film 4. Print 85. Black and White. Film 4. Print 106.

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RI 39 Island Map NGR NG 4119 9828
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: On the low coastal shelf at the southern end of the north to south head dyke. The shelter is constructed from rearranging stones at the base of the massive stone fronted platform RI 45 upon which most of the other buildings in the group are constructed.
Description: The shelter is of only single stone settings arranged in a circle of approximately 1.50m. diameter.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: Photographic only. (Included on plan of RI40/45)
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 107.

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RI 40 Island Map NGR NG 4119 9829
Interpretation:
Sheep fank. Positive.
Location: At the southern end of the central head dyke wall that divides the western bulk of the island north-south into two parts. The enclosure that forms part of the building is depicted on the recent OS map and as ruins on the earlier maps.
Description: This building provides the main focus of the modern-early modern landscape situated on this southern coastal shelf. The sheep fank is constructed of battered drystone walling standing up to 1.50m. high to a trapezoidal ground plan orientated east to west, open at each end and measuring internally 3.60x1.75 at the west end and 0.65m. at the eastern end. The walls at their base are 0.80m. wide. The internal floor space is raised above the ground level by approximately 0.20m. and finished with a concrete surface channelled to assist water run-off. At the western end a stone based concrete finished ramp leads up into the interior. The sheep pass through and into a rectangular concrete dip tank 2.20x0.65m. at the eastern end. An associated enclosure with walls of a metre height 0.75m. width is constructed on the north side of the fank issuing at right angles from its north west corner for 2.6m. (internal) then turning east sharply to run parallel with the fank for 9m. where post and wire fencing complete a more temporary structure. Forming the southern side of the enclosure a wall runs after a gated gap of 1.10m. by the side of the dip tank for 10.80m. before turning inwards for 0.30m. where post and wire take over completing the arrangement. The sheep dip operation is no longer operative, but the enclosure on the northern side is still in use as a castrating yard.   
Provisional date: Early modern to Modern.
Recording: A measured ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Colour Print. Film 4. Prints 77-79.81/82. Black and White. Film 4. Prints 109-112.

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 RI 41 Island Map NGR NG 4117 9829
Interpretation:
Roundhouse with other remnant structures. Positive.
Location: To the west of the sheep fank and at the west side of the southern coastal shelf and on the underlying stone built platform RI 45 on which this group as a whole is built.
Description: The roundhouse has an internal oval space of 4x3.25m with metre thick walls of earth faced with piled stone set into the hillside and enclosure wall to the west. To the east an opening 2.75m. wide appears too large for a normal entrance but the whole width of it is covered with a low mound of tumbled rock which may indicate that this entrance has been considerably altered or damaged. From this doorway to antenna walls extend eastwards to form a porch like extension. Inside the porch area and in the house are hollows of unknown origin. Co- joining with the north wall is an ill defined, angled stretch of walling, approximately 0.75m. wide, enclosing a possible sub-rectangular space of 8x6m. Other barely visible stonework can be found poking up from the grassy surface of the platform towards the east.
Provisional date: Prehistoric.
Recording: A measured ground plan drawn and field sketches of the other structure. (PJF).
Photographic record: Colour Print. Film 4. Print 79/80. Black and White. Film 4. Prints 110-112.

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RI 42 Island Map NGR NG 4115 9835
Interpretation:
mound. Positive.
Location: A few metres immediately north of the sheiling RI 33 in the h-Annaid group.
Description: An irregular mound of around 2m. diameter of unstructured piled stone and earth. 
Provisional date: None possible.
Recording: Photographic only.
Photographic record: Black and White. Film 4. Print 115.

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RI 43 Island Map NGR NG 4114 9835
Interpretation:
Shelter. Positive.
Location: On south slopes and a southerly location in the h-Annaid group.
Description: A circular setting of closely positioned stones 3m. in diameter with an entrance gap to the east.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record. Coloured Print. Film 3. Print 74. Black and White. Film 4. Print 113.

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RI 44 Island Map NGR NG 4114 9837
Interpretation:
Sheiling. Positive.
Location: A few metres above the shelter RI 43 in the h-Annaid group. Marked on the early maps as a ruin and also on the recent OS map.
Description: An oval, 8x3.75m. internal diameter, structure orientated north to south with an entrance gap to the east centrally positioned in the east wall. The west wall is cut into a flat bench to level the site but from the east front wall the ground falls away in a slope. The walls are composed of earth faced internally with stone. They vary widely in width from 0.25m. to 1.50m. which is most likely an erosion effect.
Provisional date: Early modern.
Recording: A measured stone by stone ground plan drawn. (PJF).
Photographic record: Colour Print. Film 3. Print 73. Black and White. Film 4. Print 114.

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RI 45 Island Map NGR NG 4118 9828
Interpretation:
Platform. Positive.
Location: Occupies much of the area southern edge of the low coastal shelf at the southern end of the central north to south head dyke.
Description: This appears to be a monumental platform constructed of a mass of unstructured piled stone. exposed along its southern leading edge. The apparent unstructured nature of this face could be due to any structured revetting being robbed away to construct the later early modern buildings and enclosures. At the front it stands to approximately 2m. high providing a flat area behind that blends into the back slope of the hillside. It is grass covered but a certain amount of stonework, possibly from early buildings poke up through the vegetation. A large roundhouse with a second possible example RI 41 are located at the west end of the platform. An Early enclosure bank runs around the western end up the hill slope to the north where it turns east and then west to descend again going under the sheep fank enclosure wall but not reaching the sheep fank itself. It may be that at its apparent terminal and it has run into the back of the platform. At present it is considered that this enclosure may be contemporary with the platform or with an early use of it.
Provisional date: Prehistoric.
Recording: Photographic only. (Included on plan of RI40)
Photographic record: Colour Print. Film 4. Print 83. Black and White. Film 4. Print 108. 
Notes: The situation of massive platform and roundhouses is not dissimilar to that revealed in the excavations at Allt Chrisal on the island of Barra which proved to be a Neolithic platform and buildings (Foster 1995).

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RI 46 Island Map NGR NG 4201 9865
Interpretation:
Cairn. Positive.
Location: On the west slope above the lazy bed strips at Toll á Roimh.
Description: An unstructured pile of stones.
Provisional date: Modern.
Recording: Map location only.
Photographic record: None. 

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Archaeology Index Page Page 1 of Rough Island - Sites 1 - 19