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Date 3 February 2015 - 18 May 2016

Event ID 1044146

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


Dun Canna is situated on a precipitous and rocky coastal promontory at the N end of the beach in Camas Mor. Its defences comprises two elements: an inner enclosure on the crest of the seaward end, from which the ground slopes down to a sheer cliff everywhere except the NE, where gullies cutting in to either side have created a relatively narrow neck; and an outer enclosure taking in a larger and less precipitous area of the promontory on the landward side of the neck. The inner enclosure is roughly sub-rectangular on plan and measures about 43m from NE to SW by a maximum 13m transversely (0.05ha) within a wall reduced to a band of rubble spread between 3m and 5.5m in thickness; a run of outer face is visible at the SW end. A gap in the wall at the NE end was proposed by Charles Calder and Kenneth Steer as the position of the entrance (1949), but in 1974 John Macrae of the OS could not detect any hollow through the band of rubble here. The wall of the outer enclosure has been more massive, in places spread no less than 12m thick, though the wall itself ranges between 2.8m and 4.3m in thickness; the lines of both faces can be identified, the inner standing up to 1.2m high. A gap beside the ruin of a cottage set into the rubble on the NE is the result of later disturbance, probably to give access to the plots of lazy-beds that have been cultivated across the interior, but there is an original entrance in a re-entrant above the cliff-edge forming the NW margin of the promontory. Here the terminals of the walls overlap in such a way as to expose the left-hand side of the visitor approaching from the exterior; Calder and Steer found a check three courses high exposed in its S side. The outer wall encloses an additional 0.13ha, returning along the cliff-edge on the NW towards the inner enclosure, but petering out on the SE on the landward side of the gully forming the neck. While the configuration of the defences was construed as a citadel and annexe by Calder and Steer, there is no reason that the outer was not a fort of about 0.22ha in its own right.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2778

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