Cladh Hallan Roundhouses

South Uist | Dalabrog | Roundhouses |

[Cladh Hallan Roundhouses]

A trio of grassy depressions partially encircled by stone walls are the remains of three, late Bronze Age roundhouses which are - to our knowledge - the most accessible of their type on the Western Isles. These circular constructions belonged to a larger settlement consisting of several houses, but the most interesting part concerns the internal layout of the buildings themselves. Rooms are believed to have been laid out like spokes on a wheel, with the functions of each room following the passage of the sun around the circumference of the circle. The house closest to the track was at one time used as a "house of the dead", with large numbers of bones excavated from inside. The middle and largest of the three buildings is believed to have been inhabited continuously for 900 years, making it one of the longest-inhabited, prehistoric houses anywhere in the world. The furthest house away from the track is altogether less impressive: it was occupied for a very short period and later used a dump for dog faeces (charming). The roundhouses (or wheelhouses) here are bare inside, so reimagining what they would have looked like is difficult. For a better - but harder to reach - example, head for the impressive specimen on Grimsay (coming soon).

[Cladh Hallan Roundhouses]

📌 Cladh Hallan Roundhouses
Off minor road at Cladh Hallan cemetery, a mile west of Dalabrog, South Uist, G.R.: NF 731220 ///sprawls.bulb.quitter
Always open | Free

Anything else? From the cemetery car park at G.R.: NF 735218 ///panthers.longer.poets it's a 10-min walk to the roundhouses, along a sandy track heading west from the transmitter mast near the car park. Alternatively, fainter tracks across the machair west from the car park provide a short cut.

[Machair at Cladh Hallan]

[Cladh Hallan Roundhouses]

[Track to the roundhouses]

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