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Publication Account

Date 1995

Event ID 1016747

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1016747

The fort is built on a knoll at the east end of a long, steepsided ridge known as the Black Craig, and is divided from the main ridge by a saddle. Standing some 200m above the valley floor, it has extensive views over upper Strathspey and Strathmashie. The knoll has two craggy summits with a lower area between, now overgrown with tall grass and heather: its Gaelic name (pronounced 'dun da larve') means 'fort of the two hands' and may refer to the two summits. The rampart does not follow a level contour round the hill, but climbs up and down with the crags, and it was unusually massive, varying in width from fout to six metres or more; it is now tumbled and lichened. The inner face of the wall has been exposed at the northwest and southwest corners by the removal of tumble, showing the fine quality of the masonry built with small slabs (however, unless covered over soon, this face will itself deteriorate). Because of the odd shape of the hill, the fort has pronounced corners, The fort is built on a knoll at the east and of a long, steepsided ridge known as the Black Craig, and is divided from the main ridge by a saddle. Standing some 200m above the valley floor, it has extensive views over upper Strathspey and Strathmashie. The knoll has two craggy summits with a lower area between, now overgrown with tall grass and heather: its Gaelic name (pronounced 'dun da larve') means 'fort of the two hands' and may refer to the two summits. The rampart does not follow a level contour round the hill, but climbs up and down with the crags, and it was unusually massive, varying in width from four to six metres or more; it is now tumbled and lichened. The inner face o f the wall has been exposed at the northwest and southwest corners by the removal of tumble, showing the fine quality of the masonry built with small slabs (however, unless covered over soon, this face will itself deteriorate). Because of the odd shape of the hill, the fort has pronounced corners, with angles skilfully constructed on the inner side of the wall. The original entrance may have been in the middle of the north wall where there seems to be a gap.

The position of the fort on such a craggy knoll and the use of rock outcrops suggest that this fort may be of early historic date, perhaps contemporary with fortifications on crags in the south of Scotland, such as Dumbarton Rock near Glasgow, Dunadd in Argyll and Dundurn, Perth and Kinross District.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).

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