Tigh na Fiarnain

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Tigh na Fiarnain ( German  House of Fingalians ) is located 300 m above sea level on bare rock on the west coast of Loch Eriboll in the county of Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands . It is the only, but well-preserved Iron Age wheelhouse in the typical architecture of the region.

It is slightly oval and measures 5.5 by 5.0 m. The dry masonry enclosure is around 1.1 m thick and preserved up to a height of 1.4 m. The access is to the east, facing Loch Eriboll. Inside there is a circle of seven slender orthostats at a distance of about one meter from the wall . One of them still has a lintel , which can be seen as the remains of a cantilever vault , the remaining stones of which lie on the ground.

On the west side lies the remainder of an attached, closed complex of plate masonry, around 8.5 m long and 3 m wide, surrounded by peat that was removed from the inside. Vague signs of another building made of panels are to be found in the southwest. In the north there are still traces of an outer enclosure.

The structure near Durness with the free-standing orthostats is related to the type of round houses or wags or "galleried buildings" in Caithness . The location at Loch Erigoll is isolated and far removed from this group in the east. The wheelhouses of the Hebrides have short radial walls at these points that form a number of niches. Tigh na Fiarnain also differs architecturally from the more southern facilities in Aberdeenshire and Forfarshire , which have long tunnel-like entrances. The tiny basement of Rennibister on Orkney comes close to the orthostatic construction of Tigh na Fiarnain and was described by Hugh Marwick (1926) as an "underground galleried building".


  • Robert Gourlay: Sutherland. An Historical guide . Birlinn, Edinburgh 1996, ISBN 1-874744-44-0 .

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Coordinates: 58 ° 30'31.6 "  N , 4 ° 44'22.1"  W.