Hut Circles: OS Grid Reference – NN 9696 0182
Also Known as:
Along the A823 road from the Pool of Muckhart up to Glendevon, watch out for the small left turning opposite the car-parking spot by the Castlehill Reservoir a couple of miles up the road. Walk up this small road a mile or so to the Glenquey reservoir, taking the footpath on your right and making sure you walk along the north-side of the waters. You’ll eventually reach a small set of beautiful mossy green waterfalls (with the rounded fairy hill of Maiden Castle ahead of you). This is the Garchel Burn. Take steep the path up the side until it levels out a bit, heading for the small clump of stones on the near skyline a couple of hundred yards ahead. That’s it!
Archaeology & History
This is a curious little cluster of seemingly multi-period remains sitting on the edges above the gorgeous waters of the Garchel Burn. The Royal Commission Canmore report ascribes the scattered rocky cluster below the deer-fencing as the main hut circle – and the line of walling running slightly down the slope does have that traditional Iron Age look about it. But it’s yet to be excavated. The larger ring of stones constituting the main ‘circle’ is very much bogged-down, literally, amidst tussock and marshland, with an arc of stones running away from the circle and it’s obviously been made use of it by people in more recent times.
Below the larger rock cluster is a lovely oval structure, built upon a slight rise overlooking the burn, with all the rocks in the structure overgrown with age and grasses. Tis a beautiful spot to sit and hear the silence of the waters around you. Aerial images show the outlines of other roughly circular remains in the same area, but none are yet excavated – and some are distinctly much later in period, medieval by the look of things and very probably used by farmers in more recent centuries. In all probability, there are more things to be found up here, hiding within the forests…
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian