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20 Pages

Cille Pheadair: The Life and Times of a Norse-Period Farmstead c. 1000–1300

WithMike Parker Pearson, Helen Smith, Jacqui Mulville, Mark Brennand

The deeply stratified sequences within any one settlement mound are almost unique for rural sites in Britain and are most closely comparable to the farm mounds of Orkney and Shetland or to the urban deposits beneath British towns. Cille Pheadair as the site is known in Scots Gaelic, anglicized as Kilpheder, on the island of South Uist, is a single farmstead which was occupied over about 300 years between c. 1000 and 1300. The architectural evidence may alternatively be recast as a demonstration of continuity of the kind identified within the Cille Pheadair constructional sequence. The site is located on the west coast of South Uist, within a sand cliff eroding onto the seashore in the township of Cille Pheadair, a mile south-west of the major modern settlement of Daliburgh. Compared with previous local building traditions and in the light of what was to come at Cille Pheadair, this wooden building stands out as a radical departure from custom.