Hut Sites

Hut sites are prevalent archaeological features in the archaeology of Ireland. These sites, dating back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age, were used as dwellings and often consist of circular or oval structures, made of stone (Clochans) and/or mud, with a central hearth. They range in size from small, single-roomed huts to larger multi-roomed structures, with some of the largest being up to 12 meters in diameter.

Hut sites are typically found on elevated locations such as hilltops, ridges, and mounds and provide important insights into the daily lives of the people who lived in them. The central hearth, for instance, served not only as a source of heat but also for cooking and socializing. In some cases, they also exhibit evidence of activities such as animal husbandry, metalworking, and pottery making, suggesting that they were not only used as dwellings but also as specialized craft production centers.

Hut sites are also an excellent example of the use of vernacular architecture, the local form of building construction that reflects the cultural and geographical context. The structures, made of readily available materials like stone, wood, and mud, show a strong connection to the environment and the local building traditions. Furthermore, they often feature elaborate drainage systems, which demonstrate the practical knowledge and understanding of the inhabitants regarding the management of water.