Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Port Na Cille (4275)

Current Priority
2
East
64794
North
801666
Site Type
Broch, Midden, Enclosure
Period
Iron Age

A battered well-constructed stone wall swings in an arc of about 18m diam below the wall of the modern cemetery, which actually follows the line of this earlier wall and uses it as a foundation. Inside the cemetery at this point there is a substantial mound. We identify the wall and mound as the buried remains of a broch, situated immediately overlooking the natural dyke which forms a protected harbourage at this point on the headland. Between the broch and the edge of the dyke are the remains of a bank which curve west¬wards, and make an enclosure around the broch on this side, with a possible entrance to the west. To the north of the broch, exposed in the steep and eroding edge of the machair, is a midden. We recovered fifteen reddish-brown gritty handmade sherds, one with an applied and impressed cordon, probably of the early first millennium AD. We also found limpet shells, fragments of butchered animal bone, teeth of sheep and pig, and five fish ¬vertebra. (PL.4A,4B)

05/05/2016 ShoreUPDATE site as described.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Fair
Action
Visit - assess condition of the site ;
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site

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Record 1 on map 5 in Coastal Assessment Survey, Barra and Vatersay, 1998

Other records:

NMRS
Unknown
SMR
MWE9740

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

5th May, 2016 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
May 5, 2016
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
none; stock erosion
Description:

A battered well-constructed stone wall swings in an arc of about 18m diam below the wall of the modern cemetery, which actually follows the line of this earlier wall and uses it as a foundation. Inside the cemetery at this point there is a substantial mound. We identify the wall and mound as the buried remains of a broch, situated immediately overlooking the natural dyke which forms a protected harbourage at this point on the headland. Between the broch and the edge of the dyke are the remains of a bank which curve west¬wards, and make an enclosure around the broch on this side, with a possible entrance to the west. To the north of the broch, exposed in the steep and eroding edge of the machair, is a midden. We recovered fifteen reddish-brown gritty handmade sherds, one with an applied and impressed cordon, probably of the early first millennium AD. We also found limpet shells, fragments of butchered animal bone, teeth of sheep and pig, and five fish ¬vertebra. (PL.4A,4B)

05/05/2016 ShoreUPDATE site as described.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
limited visibility (partial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
clearly visible in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (footpath)
The site is:
is well known; has local associations/history
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Maintain priority 2. The erosion is encroaching upon the cemetery wall immediately to the north of the broch mound, and the archaeological impact should be considered in any future work to rebuild the wall or construct a coastal defence for the cemetery.