Highlands & Islands

Aerial laser scan shows ruined longhouse in Sutherland

Image copyright Forestry Commission Scotland

Archaeologists have recorded the ruins of traditional Highland home in a high resolution laser scan.

Looking like a close up of a knitted jumper, the new image shows, in the foreground, the remains of a longhouse in the township of Rosal in Sutherland.

Forestry Commission Scotland carried out the aerial laser scan of the site. Every point in the image represents a laser beam hitting the ground.

Longhouses were long, low thatched roofed homes and few examples of the properties survive in the Highlands today.

Many were destroyed during the Highland Clearances in the 18th and 19th Centuries when people were cleared from land to make way for large-scale sheep production.

In some incidents, the thatch on the longhouses was set alight and the walls made of turf and stone were pushed down.

People were first recorded living at Rosal in 1296. The township, which had about 15 to 18 longhouses, was clear by about 1818.

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