Skye, Dun Kearstach


Site Name Skye, Dun Kearstach

Classification Dun

Alternative Name(s) Glen Boreraig

Canmore ID 11430

Site Number NG51NE 3

NGR NG 5964 1745

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Strath
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NG51NE 3 5964 1745

(NG 5964 1745) Dun Kearstach (NR)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

Dun Kearstach, a galleried dun, oval on plan, measuring 67ft in length and 43ft in breadth, has been surrounded by a fine stone wall, varying from 21ft thick at the SE end to 13ft on the N flank, but this is almost levelled to the ground, the debris of the wall covering the slopes on the flanks for a distance of nearly 40ft. Short sections of the lower courses of the outer face of the building are visible round the NE arc and on the SW, but in no place are they more than 1ft 6ins in height. The entrance, very slightly defined, has been through the W end, but it is too dilapidated for measurement. For a distance of about 38ft in the W end of the N wall the remains of a narrow chamber can be traced. The outer wall of this gallery is broken down, but the inner wall, 4ft thick, still reaches a height of 2ft 3ins in places. Part of the W jamb of the doorway of this chamber are still in position some 43ft from the entrance to the dun, and some 21ft further E there are traces of another opening, seemingly to a second gallery in the NE arc, while indications of a third are visible along the S flank.

Not a broch, but embodies features which appear in broch architecture (A Graham 1949).

RCAHMS 1928; A Graham 1949.

Dun Kearstach: a galleried dun as described by RCAHMS and in ruinous condition. Some 20m W of the entrance across the narrow approach to the fort there are faint indications of a possible outwork comprising a low bank with outer ditch.

Visited by OS (A C) 18 April 1961.


Publication Account (207)


NG/5964 1745

This galleried dun in Strath, Skye, is a medium-sized, oval, stone-walled fort with a good-quality, galleried wall enclosing an area 20.4 x 13.1m (67 x 43 ft). The site stands in Glen Boreraig, on a steep-sided ridge running east-west and rising about 10.7m (35 ft) above the moor around it; there is a gradual ascent approaching from the west. The wall varies from 6.4 - 4.0m (21 - 13 ft) in thickness and the outer face now stands nowhere above 46cm (18in) high; debris from the wall covers the flanking slopes for up to 12m (40 ft) from it. Much of the wall has disappeared. However there are traces of a mural gallery for about l1.6m (38 ft) from the west end of the north wall; the outer face has gone but the inner stands up to 69cm (2 ft 3 in) high. There are traces of two doorways to the interior and of more mural gallery on the south side. There are faint traces of the entrance at the west end.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 51 SE 3: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 208, no. 649 and fig. 292.

E W MacKie 2007


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