Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Hodgalee (6176)

Current Priority
2
East
346440
North
1044730
Site Type
Broch, Settlement, Noosts
Period
1st millennium BC-1st millennium AD

This site has suffered further serious coastal erosion since it was examined in 1990. The relationship between the broch and the settlement centred on the house which is visible in section cannot be easily determined without recourse to excavation and should not be assumed to be of contemporary date: the extent of remains in this area may indicate that it was a focus of activity and occupation over a long duration. A more thorough assessment of the remains is now overdue and should be carried out without delay. (i) Part of a large overgrown mound, which probably originally measured up to 50m by 30m, stands up to 5m high. The seaward side of the mound has been removed by coastal erosion. There are traces of stone structural remains visible in the side and at the top of the mound. The coastal section in front of the mound is overgrown and disturbed, and although structural remains are visible, it is difficult to discern their nature. A cut feature, possibly a ditch, was noted to the southeast side of the mound and a series of upright slabs intervene between the mound and structure (ii). The scale and nature of this mound suggests that it covers a substantial building such as a broch. (ii) To the southeast side of the mound, there are extensive structural and midden deposits visible in section for almost 100m. The walls of a circular or sub-circular structure, some 12m in diameter, are exposed. The walls are up to 1.75m wide and protrude from the section at an oblique angle. The structure is filled with and covered by shell-rich deposits; an ard tip was also noted within these deposits. (ii) Two noosts, probably of 18th-20th C date, lie nearby. They measure approximately 2m by 6m, have pointed ends and are very overgrown.

06/07/2014 ShoreUPDATE More or less as described. No significant change from 1998 survey. Structural remains exposed in coast edge extend c. 25m eastwards of mound before merging into beach level. Photos numbered from east to west give details of exposed remains.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Good
Action
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site ;
Excavate site - open area

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Record WT70 on map Westray: Map 6 in Orkney Coastal Zone Assessment Survey 1998: Westray, Papa Westray, Holm of Papa Westray, West Mainland, 1998

Other records:

NMRS
2820
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

6th July, 2014 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
July 6, 2014
Tidal state:
low
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
Description:

This site has suffered further serious coastal erosion since it was examined in 1990. The relationship between the broch and the settlement centred on the house which is visible in section cannot be easily determined without recourse to excavation and should not be assumed to be of contemporary date: the extent of remains in this area may indicate that it was a focus of activity and occupation over a long duration. A more thorough assessment of the remains is now overdue and should be carried out without delay. (i) Part of a large overgrown mound, which probably originally measured up to 50m by 30m, stands up to 5m high. The seaward side of the mound has been removed by coastal erosion. There are traces of stone structural remains visible in the side and at the top of the mound. The coastal section in front of the mound is overgrown and disturbed, and although structural remains are visible, it is difficult to discern their nature. A cut feature, possibly a ditch, was noted to the southeast side of the mound and a series of upright slabs intervene between the mound and structure (ii). The scale and nature of this mound suggests that it covers a substantial building such as a broch. (ii) To the southeast side of the mound, there are extensive structural and midden deposits visible in section for almost 100m. The walls of a circular or sub-circular structure, some 12m in diameter, are exposed. The walls are up to 1.75m wide and protrude from the section at an oblique angle. The structure is filled with and covered by shell-rich deposits; an ard tip was also noted within these deposits. (ii) Two noosts, probably of 18th-20th C date, lie nearby. They measure approximately 2m by 6m, have pointed ends and are very overgrown.

06/07/2014 ShoreUPDATE More or less as described. No significant change from 1998 survey. Structural remains exposed in coast edge extend c. 25m eastwards of mound before merging into beach level. Photos numbered from east to west give details of exposed remains.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
limited visibility (partial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
don't know
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

This site has suffered from substantial loss in the past, but little change was observed between 1998 and 2014. The coast edge is generally of a low bedrock platform covered with till.

Consider re-assigning as a Priority 2 site. The coast edge here is obviously vulnerable to extreme weather events, but is currently relatively stable. The remains upon the rock platform are elevated. The remains to the south east are at current storm beach level and are more vulnerable.