Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Field Visit

Date 13 June 1921

Event ID 1104622

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


Dun, Fiadhairt (Iardhard), Dunvegan.

On the peninsula of Fiadhairt, about 1 3/8 miles north-west of Dun vegan Castle, are the ruins of a broch, excavated by Countess Latour (1). It occupies the summit of a rocky knoll rising from some 12 to 25 feet above the surrounding ground, and stands rather lower than the generality of the rocky heights on the peninsula. It is about 50 feet above sea-level, some 50 yards north-east of a small arm of Loch Dunvegan, called Ob an Duin. (Fig. 229.)

The broch is circular, the internal diameter measuring 31 feet 6 inches, and the wall varies from 10 feet 6 inches to 12 feet in thickness. The outer face of the wall is for the greater part hidden by fallen stones, but, towards the east where it has been uncovered, it shows a height of 4 feet of masonry laid in irregular courses with a slight inward batter; the inner face shows an average height of about 6 feet, and a portion of a scarcement some 6 inches in width and about 6 feet 6 inches from the ground still remains on the left side of the main entrance, which is placed slightly south of west, and is approached by a roadway which curves up the rocky slope of the height, and is flanked on either side by a roughly built wall of later date for a distance of about 16 feet. The entrance is 3 feet wide at the outside and about2 feet 8 inches on the inside. Some 3 feet inwards is a door check on either side of the passage, and at 1 foot 1 inch nearer the interior on the north side is a doorway 3 feet 2 inches high and 1 foot 8 inches wide, with outer lintel in position, leading into an oval guard-chamber about 7 feet in length and from 3 feet to 4 feet in breadth (Fig. 227); on the south side, 1 foot 6 inches inwards from the check, is a doorway 1 foot 11 inches wide to another cell 6 feet 5 inches long and 4 feet broad with a recess at the south end 2 feet 6 inches high, 2 feet wide, and 1 foot 2 inches deep. The chambers and entrance passage are roofless. The entrance passages to these cells measure 14 inches in length on the south and 2 feet 4 inches on the north. In the interior some 13 feet 6 inches northwards from the entrance a complete doorway, 3 feet 6 inches high, 1 foot 8 inches wide, and 3 feet 10 inches long, leads into a roofless oval chamber, 17 feet long and from 3 feet 3 inches to 4 feet 2 inches wide, which is divided into two opposite the doorway by a buttress-like projection on the inner face 1 foot 7 inches broad and 9 inches deep; about 1 foot 9 inches from the floor in a corner of the southern end is a small recess 13 inches high and 10 inches broad on face, widening to 1 foot 10 inches inside and penetrating about 3 feet into the wall. About 14 feet from the entrance to this cell is another entrance 2 feet 6 inches wide and 3 feet 6 inches long, from which the lintel stones have been removed, leading into a chamber which extends westwards towards the last cell for a distance of 8 feet 10 inches, the breadth being from 3 feet 3 inches to 2 feet4 inches. The eastern end of this gallery on the right of its doorway contains the beginning of the staircase, of which six steps remain. Almost opposite the main entrance to the broch and 16 feet from the last doorway is an opening (Fig. 228) into a low and well preserved passage to the outside which is broken in the middle by the mouth of a gallery. The inside portion of this passage, on which three lintels remain, measures 4 feet 6 inches in height, 1 foot 7 inches in breadth, and 4 feet 8 inches in length, while the outer, with four lintel stones, measures 4 feet 5 inches in length,2 feet 11 inches in height, and 1 foot 11 inches in breadth. The gallery to which this doorway gives access is 2 feet wide and extends for a distance of 50 feet around the southern arc of the broch to within 3 feet of the chamber to the south of the main entrance. Immediately to the south of its entrance seven lintels covering a length of 7 feet 6 inches remain in position and farther on there are other two.

Built across the interior of the broch from the north side of the entrance to the long gallery to within 4 feet of the main entrance is a roughly built wall about 5 feet 6 inches thick and of an average height of about 3 feet. It is of late construction, and it is not bonded into the wall of the broch.

A necklace composed of fifty-nine discoid amber beads, and a considerable quantity of shards of hand-made pottery, were discovered.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 13 June 1921.

OS map: Skye xxi.

People and Organisations

Digital Images