Dun Grugaig, Glenelg


Site Name Dun Grugaig, Glenelg

Classification Dun

Alternative Name(s) Caisteal Chonil

Canmore ID 11772

Site Number NG81NE 3

NGR NG 85142 15910

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Glenelg (skye And Lochalsh)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Dun Grugaig, galleried fort or dun in a birch grove beyond Balvraid, near the head of the glen. It has a narrow entrance passage and mural cells similar to the brochs, but is semi-circular in form and open on one side, overlooking a steep ravine.

[A thick, silvery belt of forestry obscures Sandaig, Gavin Maxwell's 'Camasfearna' at the mouth of a tumbling waterfall, where the legend of 'Ring of Bright Water' was born. Only the site of the house is marked today, for it was consumed by fire in January 1968.]

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2007. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

Archaeology Notes

NG81NE 3 8515 1591.

(NG 8517 1589) Dune (NR) (Remains of) (Supposed Pictish Tower)

OS 6"map, Inverness, 2nd ed., (1902)

Dun Grugaig (or Caisteal Chonil {L Bogle 1895}) in Glenbeag is a galleried dun standing on a knoll on the brink of one side of a narrow steep-sided gorge. The all, 14' thick, still stands to a maximum height of 8' above a scarcement and forms the arc of a D-shaped enclosure 47' along the chord formed by the side of the gorge, by 38' transversely. Features include mural chambers, the scarcement (still discernible), and a blocked entrance passage with door checks and bar hole. (R W Feachem 1963) It was investigated by Bogle in 1895 (L Bogle 1895) and by Graham in 1949 (A Graham 1951)

L Bogle 1895; A Graham 1951; R W Feachem 1963.

As described and planned above. The maximum external height, on the SE, is about 4.0m.

Visited by OS (W D J) 3 October 1966.

A D-shaped semi-broch.

E W MacKie 1969.

Dun Grugaig (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1971)

Graham's plan is incorrect (A Graham 1951), though Bogle's is a little more accurate. (L Bogle 1895) The main entrance is undoubtedly in the E at the easiest approach. The whole of its N side can be seen in the debris, including the door check. The S side is partially collapsed. The entrance shown by Graham and Bogle in the NNW is presumably the one referred to by Feachem (R W Feachem 1963) who quotes from Graham (A Graham 1951) when he mentions door check and bar hole. None of these features is now visible in what is certainly an aperture through the wall but filled with tumbled stones. It could be a second entrance, but the way in which it runs slightly obliquely through the wall suggests it may be secondary. In the interior is visible the inner face of a sub-circular structure c. 8.0m in diameter which is certainly secondary and may be of late date. Outside in the S and E are traces of what appear to be two outworks protecting the most vulnerable quadrant. Here are two natural terraces with their slopes studded with debris most likely from pillaged defensive walls of which two fragments survive in the outer terrace, and only one large slab from the outer face in the inner terrace. The name "Dun Grugaig" is known locally.

Visited by OS (A A) 27 June 1974.



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