Skye, Dun Ringill

Broch (possible), Dun

Site Name Skye, Dun Ringill

Classification Broch (possible), Dun

Alternative Name(s) Dunringill; Dun Ringhill; Strathaird Estate

Canmore ID 11431

Site Number NG51NE 4

NGR NG 5619 1708

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Dun Ringill, 1st millennium BC. Complex roundhouse/semibroch structure above Loch Slapin, refashioned c.14th century as the first residence of the Mackinnon chiefs in Skye (later abandoned for Kyleakin); remains of two medieval lime-mortared buildings in the curtilage. This was one of the six 'castells' on the island listed by Dean Monro in the mid-16th century.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NG51NE 4 5619 1708.

(NG 5619 1708) Dun Ringill (NR)

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

Dun Ringhill. Owing to the natural incline of the ground from the entrance to the cliff edge and partly to debris, the interior of Dun Ringhill, a broch-like structure is on a higher level than outside the W arc, and therefore less height of walling is necessary on the seaward side, where, being inaccessible, the wall appears also to have been thinnest and for the most part cannot now be traced. The walling is sub-oval on plan with axes 72ft and 58ft, and varies in thickness from 15ft at the entrance and 13ft at the cell on the SW. A distinguishing feature is a batter on the inner as well as the outer face.

A passage way, from which the lintels have been removed, pierces the wall in the NW and has been extended inwards by a later lime-built addition in which the original lintels have been reused. It terminates in a short flight of steps ascending to the court. The original entrance has a door check on each side, and bar holes. To the E of the court there are foundations of a secondary rectangular building measuring 15ft by 7ft 6ins internally, with side walls 2ft 6ins thick and gables 3ft 10ins thick; its main axis lying NNE-SSW. About the court level and over the entrance a gallery has been carried round the NW arc in the thickness of the wall. Only the inner wall, which is from 3ft 6ins - 5ft 9ins in thickness remains to a height of 2 or 3ft. In it are three openings, one in the N, one immediately over the rear of the main entrance, and one in the SW.

In the lower-level walling on the SW, an exceptionally fine and large oval chamber, arched by overlapping stones, has been exposed through its outer wall falling away. It has been reached by a doorway leading into a D-shaped passage joining the E end of the chamber at which point two lintels remain in position.

RCAHMS 1928; D Monro 1884; A Graham 1949; E W MacKie 1965; J R C Hamilton 1966.

Dun Ringill, as described by RCAHMS, is a galleried dun, its condition has deteriorated still further.

Visited by OS (A C) 17 April 1961.

Site recorded in the spring of 1997, during a field survey carried out by Martin Wildgoose and associates on part of the John Muir Trust's Strathaird Estate. The surveyed portion lies to the S and E of Bla Bheinn, some 3000ha of undulating lowland terrain lying between the coast and the Cuillin mountains.

NG 5619 1708 Dun/castle (Dun Ringill) (NG51NE 4).

A full report is lodged with the John Muir Trust. A fuller summary is lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: John Muir Trust.

K Miller 1998



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