Barra, Dun Cuier

Broch, Galleried Dun

Site Name Barra, Dun Cuier

Classification Broch, Galleried Dun

Alternative Name(s) Dun Chuidhir

Canmore ID 9710

Site Number NF60SE 1

NGR NF 66420 03406

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Barra
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF60SE 1 66420 03406

(NF 6641 0340) Dun Cuier (NR)

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

Dun Cuier, a fairly well preserved galleried dun, was excavated by Young between 1953 and 1955.

The finds, dated from the 4th to the 7th centuries AD, including pottery sherds of late and post-wheel-house types, metal objects, bone combs, bone gaming pieces, bone pins, stone tools, querns, etc., were presented to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) by The MacNeil.

Intrusive walls within the dun can be dated to c. 1746.

A Young 1958 and 1964; RCAHMS 1928; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1961.

Dun Cuier is a broch, 29 ft in internal diameter within a wall 16 ft thick with a scarcement 4 ft 6 ins above ground-level. A few of the small finds are typical of the main broch period at the turn of the eras. Evidence of later occupation sugests a period early in the 7th century AD.

MacKie (E W MacKie 1965) classifies this as a 'curious galleried dun'.

R W Feachem 1963; E W MacKie 1965.

The remains of this structure are as planned and described by Young.

Visited by OS (W D J) 25 May 1965.

Bone dice found.

22. RMS GU 275. Two fragments possibly from the same piece.

a. Three dots enclosed by two concentric circles.

b. Parts of two dots enclosed by two concentric circles.

Found together in the peat ash of the central hearth.

23. RMS GU 276. One end damaged but apparently numbered 6 and 4. Dots enclosed by poorly executed rectangles. On '6' side the two groups of '3' possibly joined by a central line. 51 x 11mm.

24. RMS GU 277. One end damaged. Numbered 6, 4 and 1. The 1 and three dots of the '6' side enclosed by poorly executed rectangles. 52 x 10mm. 25. RMS GU 278. One end damaged but apparently numbered 6 and 4. Dots enclosed by poorly executed rectangles. On '6' side the two groups of '3' joined by a central line. 50 x 9mm.

23-25 found in spread of the peat ash around central hearth; Young (A Young 1958) regards them as part of a set.

26. RMS GU 279. One face numbered 4. Dots enclosed by two concentric circles. 55 x 13mm. To east of central hearth in spread of peat ash.

27. RMS GU 280. Badly damaged; some details obscured by restoration. Numbered 1 (? originally 3), 4 (? originally 6), 4, 5. Dots on '4' side enclosed by two concentric circles, dots on other sides show traces of enclosing single circles. From greasy earth of enclosure formed by inner wall.

D V Clarke 1970; E W Mackie 1971.

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