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Prehistoric North Uist
 
Shortly after the end of the last ice age, about 9000 years ago Neolithic people arrived in North Uist. There are many prehistoric sites.
Barpa Langass MapRef 838657

Reached from Clachan to Lochmaddy road.

Magnificent Cairn, 25m in diameter and rising to 4metres high over a lintelled passage grave. It is possible to clamber into the chamber 4metres by 1.8metres.

These chambered tombs were for communal burials. Neolithic. Possibly 2000 4000BC.

 


Dun Torcuill MapRef 888737

Remains of a ruined broch. Brochs and Duns regarded as being 100BC to 200AD but may be earlier.


Dun Sticer

Remains of a ruined broch


Pobuill Fhionn MapRef 842650
 

Stone circle, easiest access via track from Langass Lodge, circle 37metres by 30 metres.


South Clettreval Chambered Cairn, Wheelhouse and standing stone MapRef 749713 and 750712

Cairn has been robbed for stone, surviving passage and chamber show it to have been a Clyde type tomb(found mainly in Argyll and Arran) and therefore unique in this area. Two massive upright slabs at the west end represent the remains of the end compartment. Excavation in 1934 produced large quantities of Neolithic and Beaker pottery.

The robbed stone has been used in the construction of the Iron Age roundhouse at the west end of the cairn.


Unival MapRef 800668

Chambered Cairn and House, group of upright stones mark site of chambered tomb. This lies at the heart of a denuded cairn, a low square of stones some 16metres across bounded by a kerb composed of uprights linked with sections of dry-stone walling. The uprights of the south east face increase in height towards the centre where the short narrow passage runs into the central chamber. This now roofless is a polygonal compartment measuring 1.8 by 2.2 metres formed by a series of massive uprights. Excavated in 1935 and 1939 when remains of two inhumations , a large quantity of Neolithic pottery and implements of stone and flint were recovered. A hollow at the north east corner of the cairn marks the position of a two compartment Iron Age house.


Udal

Remains of roundhouse excavated in 1960s in good condition.


Teampull na Trionaid

Caranish, Teampull na Trionaid at Carinish, dedicated to the Holy Trinity,is North Uist's most significant ecclesiastical foundation.Its precise date of origin is unknown.The Royal Commission's volume on the ancient an historical monuments of Skye and the Western Isles (1928) concluded that while the surviving physical evidence might suggest the sixteenth century, "the proportions of the structure are in keeping with a fourteenth century origin". This might seem to bear out North Uist tradition as it has come down to us via both a written history of the seventeenth century and continuous oral transmission to the present day, and which ascribes the foundation of the teampull to Amy MacRuairi. Amy was a member of the ruling family of the MacRuairi kindred which controlled the Uists, Barra, Rum, Eigg and parts of the western mainland from the thirteenth until the mid-fourteenth century. From c.1337 until 1350, she was the wife of Iain, head of the Clan Donald and Lord of the Isles.The seventeenth century history also credits her with the building of Borve Castle and St. Columba's church in  Benbecula, an oratory in Grimsay, North Uist, and Caisteal Tioram in Moidart.Yet as far as Teampull na Trionaid is concerned there is definite evidence of an earlier origin.This comes in a charter of 1389 confirming a grant of the teampull and associated lands originally made by Christina MacRuairi. Christina was Amy's aunt and must have flourished in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.