line decor
HOME  |   THE ISLANDS  |    HISTORY  |     WILDLIFE  |   WILDFLOWERS  |   BIRDS  |  ISLE OF HARRIS  |  ISLE OF LEWIS  |  SEASCAPES  |  BEACHES 
line decor
 
 

Bosta Iron Age House - Great Bernera - Iron Age Village - Western Isles - Outer Hebrides
The Iron Age Village was discovered at Bosta - only in 1993 when after severe gales the remains were revealed. A long excavation then followed which revealed the very important archeological finds. A reconstruction of an entire house was then carried out and that iron age house is open for visitors to see today.


ALL PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN BY OURSELVES
Feel free to use any images you wish from the website F.O.C.

Hi-Res Images can be supplied for a small
admin charge of 3.00 per image

Email: chris@gcwweb.com

Bosta Iron Age House - Bosta Iron Age Village
Bosta Iron Age House - Western Isles History
 

The Iron Age Village Comes To Light - 1993
Bosta - It had been thought for quite some while that something special lay in the dunes at Bostadh, as artifacts were sometimes discovered on the beach. The iron age village first came to light after gales in 1993 exposed it

In the Spring of 1993, there was a storm surge all around the coast of The Islands, which had the effect of creating a new face to the dunes on the south side of the beach. There were exposed - some stone structures which were obviously man made.

bosta iron age house roof
The University Edinburgh worked for many months - along with the Centre for Field Archaeology and with the assistance of Historic Scotland to reveal a Norse settlement - which had actually been built over earlier Iron Age houses. It was extremely difficult to protect from the elements and the shifting sand - however with coastal defence provided the recreation of the dune with 2/3 courses of the stones outlining the houses.

The structures that can now be seen are thought to date from the 7th - 8th century. They are adaptations of earlier buildings. The features of the houses are somewhat similar to those of Skara Brae in Orkney, constructed some 3000 years earlier. These are not the earliest constructions - a further round house was discovered beneath House No 3. The buildings were of a sophisticated style of construction. The roof protruded above the dune and would have been thatched and/or turf covered with wooden beams

There was also a rectangular building from the Norse period. An associated midden was also found , covering House 3. Domestic waste from that midden and other deposits were found to be extremely useful, the archeologists can use the material to construct a picture of the way of life of the occupants of these houses.

Bones
The bones found were from cattle and sheep, pigs and red deer. The quantity of deer bones - antlers etc would seem to point to the fact that there was quite some woodland around the area at that time.

Obviously - also there were large quantities of fish bones, limpets, oyster, mussel and scallop shells.

Cereal and Plant Remains
Cereals and plant remains have also been recovered which would suggest that the people had a wide and varied diet.


Combs
Some very fine composite bone combs were recovered - consisting of five bone teeth and a handle of two pieces of decorated bone, these combs are held together with iron rivets.


Iron Age Village - 9 Stone Buildings
Found at Bosta on the northern end of Great Bernera was a network of 9 stone buildings all connected by tunnels. It is the most completely preserved late-Iron Age village ever found in this country. Due to the exposed position of the site and mobility of the sand, it was impossible to leave the structures as excavated, and they were backfilled with sand. The tops off the original walls of two of the houses can be seen
 
400 - 800AD
The replica of the Iron Age House which is currently open to visitors gives a real insight into how the residents of Bosta lived in The Iron Age. Date from 400 - 800 AD. The type of building has been called a ‘jelly bean house’ due to its ground plan. It was actually gales in 1993 that exposed the remains. The house is accessed by a path that crosses the dunes and then a small wooden bridge.

Inside The Iron Age House
When I went inside I realised that the "house" was larger than it looked from the outside and that it could actually accommodate more persons than I had imagined.

The house had a large main room about 6m in diameter with a smaller room - probably a store room - on the North side. The houses were built into the sand with double-skinned dry-stone walls. The lady who looks after the "house" was a brilliant "guide" and local historian.

Fire Burning - Smoke taken out by a hole in the Ceiling

She had a small fire burning in the centre of the house - in much the same way as it would have been burning all day, in those Iron Age times. There was a hole in the middle of the room - which served to allow the light in - whilst allowing some of the smoke to get out

Small Windows
There were a couple of tiny square slits that might have been classed as windows - but as they were so small - not much actual light got into the house and it really was dark.. You needed a few moments to get your eyes accustomed to the darkness.

Cooking Pots
Various items reproducing the life of the period were scattered around the interior of the house such as peats, baskets, drying meats, and a rope making kit. -along with the clay pots which were positioned around the fire. These had been created by the lady who was showing us around - and she had used the pottery methods that would have been used in The Iron Age to create the cooking pots - even down to using milk to make a glaze for the pottery (What a clever and talented lady!)

Several pottery items of course were discovered during the excavations and these proved very useful in assessing exactly how the pottery items would have been used - the items that the lady had created were in fact created to match these finds etc.

Two rooms
The house actually has two rooms, one smaller and lower than the other. This one was probably used for storage purposes.

Raised Platform for Children to Sleep
There was raised platform - which would have been used for the children for sleeping. The houses were quite well camouflaged - with only their thatched roofs showing. In fact when warriors in that period came by sea to attack the coastal villages - it would have been easy to miss the Iron Age Village from their passing ships.

Smelly
Since there would have been quite a number of persons living in such an Iron Age house - and all the cooking was carried out in that one open room - as well as the entire family sleeping in that small space and the fact that any of their "food" stores would have also been stored in this same place - it is obvious that the house really would have had a pungent aroma
 

Bosta Beach - Isle of Lewis
(Click Image for Larger Pictures)
bosta iron age house
iron age house bosta great bernera  
iron age house bosta great bernera
Bosta - Iron Age House
 
Bosta - Isle of Lewis
 
Bosta - Isle of Lewis
The iron age village first came to light after gales in 1993 exposed it. The University Edinburgh worked for many months and with the assistance of Historic Scotland to reveal a Norse settlement - which had actually been built over earlier Iron Age houses.
The replica of the Iron Age House which is currently open to visitors gives a real insight into how the residents of Bosta lived in The Iron Age.Date from 400 - 800 AD. It was actually gales in 1993 that exposed the remains
 
The replica of the Iron Age House is situated in the most glorious picturesque setting at Bosta. On a day when the sun shines, the vista it creates with the marine blue of the sea with ther white sand is stunning!
         
bosta iron age house
bosta beach western isles may 2009
 
Highland cattle Bosta - western isles
Bosta - Iron Age House
 
Bosta -Iron Age House
 
Highland Cows
The iron age village was an astonishing and most important historic find, the Norse settlement gives us insight into the life in the past times gine by.
Found at Bosta on the northern end of Great Bernera was a network of 9 stone buildings all connected by tunnels. It is the most completely preserved late-Iron Age village ever found in this country
 
These Highland cows add to the atmosphere of Bosta. The riural setting near to the Iron Ahe House and the lovely Bosta beach is well worth seeing.
         
Graham at Bosta Beach - October 2009 Western Isles   Bosta Beach - October 2009 Western Isles  
bosta beach Great Bernera outer hebrides
Graham at Bosta Beach
 
t Bosta Beach
 
Bosta Beach - Great Bernera
Believe it or not - Bosta Beach OCTOBER 23 2009 - simply lovely
 
Bosta Beach - Western Isles Oct 2009
 
Bosta Beach -This beach has got to be the prettiest gems of the Islands.
         
great bernera bosta beach   bosta beach isle of lewis  
bosta beach western isles may 2009
The White Sands of Bosta Beach
 
View from Bosta Beach
 
Bosta -View from the beach

The beautiful empty beach at Bosta May 2009.
This was the perfect day in May 2009 the sky was blue - the sea was aqua and the sun shone.
 
This view from Bosta beach shows just how the light catches the aqua marine blue sea. Its such a peaceful, tranquil beach.
         
bosta beach Great Bernera Isle of Lewis   Bosta Beach Western Isles  
bosta looking out to sea in the western isles April 2009
Bosta Beach - Great Bernera
 
Bosta Beach
 
Bosta Beach
Bosta Beach - Isle of Lewis. The rocks really do have almost stunning strata like look and feel.

Bosta Beach - The Western Isles, April 2009 on a peaceful tranquil day.

Looking out to sea from the lovely Bosta Beach Great Bernera
         
bosta beach Great Bernera Isle of Lewis   western isles beaches  
western isles beaches
Bosta Beach - Great Bernera
 
Western Isles Beaches
 
Hebrides Beaches
Bosta Beach - Isle of Lewis, looking down from the cliffs -what a sight.
 
Bosta Beach - Great Bernera. The beach is very sheltered and it almost invites you to have a 'picnic' there.
 
Bosta Beach - A great favourite beach of the hebrides
         
bosta beach Great Bernera outer hebrides   blue flower growing on the cliff tops at Bosta  
pink wildflowers growing on the cliff tops at Bosta
Bosta Beach - Great Bernera
 
Blue Wild Flower - Butterwort
 
Pink Wild Flower - Cuckoo Flower
Bosta Beach -This beach has got to be the prettiest gems of the Islands.
 
These tiny blue flowers just grow wild on the cliff tops at Bosta. The flower is only tiny - a little smaller than a buttercup.
 
These tiny pink flowers just grow wild on the cliff tops at Bosta. The flowers are only tiny.
         
Bosta - lovely heather - view from top of hills - moorland - Aug 2010 western isles   Bosta - view from moorland - Aug 2010 western isles  
Bosta - view from moorland - Aug 2010 western isles
Bosta
 
Bosta
 
Bosta
View from clifftops looking down to Bosta beach - heather in the foreground
 
View from moorland - Graham enjoying the view
 
View from moorland looking down to sea at Bosta
         
Bosta - Hebrides -  western isles   Bosta - Hebrides - Aug 2010 western isles  
Bosta Rock Pool- Hebrides -  western isles
Bosta
 
Bosta
 
Rock Pool at Bosta
View from moorland looking down to sea at Bosta
 
View from moorland looking down to sea at Bosta
 
The colours so pretty in this rock pool at Bosta
         
         
         
 
Feedback - All comments welcome Chris@GcwWeb.com



Western Isles - Isle of Harris - Isle of Lewis - History