Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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North Uist, Baleshare, Ceardach Ruadh (9612)

Current Priority
1
East
77617
North
861608
Site Type
Wheelhouse; Midden; Cist
Period
1st Millennium BC - 5th C AD

Remains of what appears to be a wheelhouse, exposed by coastal erosion, are situated at A' Ceardach Ruadh (the Red Smiddy) on the west side of Baleshare Island where the machair ends in a sandy cliff above the beach. Cists and skeletal material have been recovered form this site. Coastal erosion had removed 7-8m of the beach front in the 1990s. No wheelhouse was visible at this location though there was some stone lying on the beach. A piece of human skull and a sherd of pottery were collected from the beach at this point. The midden identified at site 637, continues along next to this site.

22/09/2014 ShoreUPDATE: A 2-3m thickness of midden material comprising peat ash with frequent marine shell, bone and pot exposed along 50-60m of eroding dune face. A small amount of stone, just appearing appears to be laid horizontally. No sign of other stone structures yet. They may survive in the mound of which the midden forms the seaward side. This is almost certainly the beginnings of the erosion of a further wheelhouse; part of the settlement of which wheelhouse 9609 c. 200m to the north is part.

January 2015 Images sent in by David Newman from December 2014 and January 2015 show that erosion has continued during the winter storms of 2014-15. As well as removing the sand from the adjoining beach, the dune face has been scoured exposing the midden deposits already revealed, including much redder coloured midden material to the south. The stones recording in the September 2014 update are still visible in the January images. Further south another long section of midden around 1m high has been revealed extending the site almost to the trackway evident in the satellite image. To the north a new stone structure has been revealed at the beach level around 10m north of the existing stone features.

August 2016 Erosion continues, some stock damage noted.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Eroding
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 640 on map 11 in CZAS, North Uist (west), 2005

Other records:

NMRS
10026
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

3 ShoreUpdates accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

22nd September, 2014 by Training3
Survey Information
User:
Training3
Date:
Sept. 22, 2014
Tidal state:
low
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; active wind erosion (in dunes only); has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Description:

Remains of what appears to be a wheelhouse, exposed by coastal erosion, are situated at A' Ceardach Ruadh (the Red Smiddy) on the west side of Baleshare Island where the machair ends in a sandy cliff above the beach. Cists and skeletal material have been recovered form this site. Coastal erosion had removed 7-8m of the beach front in the 1990s. No wheelhouse was visible at this location though there was some stone lying on the beach. A piece of human skull and a sherd of pottery were collected from the beach at this point. The midden identified at site 637, continues along next to this site.

22/09/2014 ShoreUPDATE: A 2-3m thickness of midden material comprising peat ash with frequent marine shell, bone and pot exposed along 50-60m of eroding dune face. A small amount of stone, just appearing appears to be laid horizontally. No sign of other stone structures yet. They may survive in the mound of which the midden forms the seaward side. This is almost certainly the beginnings of the erosion of a further wheelhouse; part of the settlement of which wheelhouse 9609 c. 200m to the north is part.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
not visible
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
easily accessible- no restrictions
The site is:
is well known
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Rapid erosion of this soft coastedge is occurring. Urgent action required. Promote to Priority 1*

28th January, 2015 by DavidNewman
Survey Information
User:
DavidNewman
Date:
Jan. 28, 2015
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Description:

Remains of what appears to be a wheelhouse, exposed by coastal erosion, are situated at A' Ceardach Ruadh (the Red Smiddy) on the west side of Baleshare Island where the machair ends in a sandy cliff above the beach. Cists and skeletal material have been recovered form this site. Coastal erosion had removed 7-8m of the beach front in the 1990s. No wheelhouse was visible at this location though there was some stone lying on the beach. A piece of human skull and a sherd of pottery were collected from the beach at this point. The midden identified at site 637, continues along next to this site.

22/09/2014 ShoreUPDATE: A 2-3m thickness of midden material comprising peat ash with frequent marine shell, bone and pot exposed along 50-60m of eroding dune face. A small amount of stone, just appearing appears to be laid horizontally. No sign of other stone structures yet. They may survive in the mound of which the midden forms the seaward side. This is almost certainly the beginnings of the erosion of a further wheelhouse; part of the settlement of which wheelhouse 9609 c. 200m to the north is part.

January 2015 Images sent in by David Newman from December 2014 and January 2015 show that erosion has continued during the winter storms of 2014-15. As well as removing the sand from the adjoining beach, the dune face has been scoured exposing the midden deposits already revealed, including much redder coloured midden material to the south. The stones recording in the September 2014 update are still visible in the January images. Further south another long section of midden around 1m high has been revealed extending the site almost to the trackway evident in the satellite image. To the north a new stone structure has been revealed at the beach level around 10m north of the existing stone features.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
not visible
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
is well known
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

Erosion has continued during the winter storms of 2014-15. As well as removing the sand from the adjoining beach, the sectional face of the site has been scoured revealing more shell and bone deposits on the already revealed faces, and much redder coloured midden material to the south. Further south another long section of midden around 1m high has been revealed extending the site almost to the trackway evident in the satellite image. To the north a new stone structure has been revealed at the beach level around 10m north of the existing stone features.

Recommendations:

None

7th August, 2016 by DavidNewman
Survey Information
User:
DavidNewman
Date:
Aug. 7, 2016
Tidal state:
low
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; active wind erosion (in dunes only); has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
stock erosion
Description:

Remains of what appears to be a wheelhouse, exposed by coastal erosion, are situated at A' Ceardach Ruadh (the Red Smiddy) on the west side of Baleshare Island where the machair ends in a sandy cliff above the beach. Cists and skeletal material have been recovered form this site. Coastal erosion had removed 7-8m of the beach front in the 1990s. No wheelhouse was visible at this location though there was some stone lying on the beach. A piece of human skull and a sherd of pottery were collected from the beach at this point. The midden identified at site 637, continues along next to this site.

22/09/2014 ShoreUPDATE: A 2-3m thickness of midden material comprising peat ash with frequent marine shell, bone and pot exposed along 50-60m of eroding dune face. A small amount of stone, just appearing appears to be laid horizontally. No sign of other stone structures yet. They may survive in the mound of which the midden forms the seaward side. This is almost certainly the beginnings of the erosion of a further wheelhouse; part of the settlement of which wheelhouse 9609 c. 200m to the north is part.

January 2015 Images sent in by David Newman from December 2014 and January 2015 show that erosion has continued during the winter storms of 2014-15. As well as removing the sand from the adjoining beach, the dune face has been scoured exposing the midden deposits already revealed, including much redder coloured midden material to the south. The stones recording in the September 2014 update are still visible in the January images. Further south another long section of midden around 1m high has been revealed extending the site almost to the trackway evident in the satellite image. To the north a new stone structure has been revealed at the beach level around 10m north of the existing stone features.

August 2016 Erosion continues, some stock damage noted.

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 (no footpath)
The site is:
is well visited
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Continue monitoring