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Field Visit

Date June 1973

Event ID 1113839

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


This rocky tidal islet is situated in the N portion of Am Bru, the narrow channel separating Ulva from Gometra. The level summit-area is surrounded by sheer cliffs some 10m in height, interrupted only by a narrrow gully, the sole means of approach, on the S, and by an area of sloping ground on the W flank. Access from the foreshore to the latter area was denied by a dry-stone wall, 1.1m thick and standing in places to a height of 1.9m, which fills the gap in the circuit of cliffs.

On the summit of the rock there are the remains of a substantial building of dry-stone masonry measuring 11.3m from N to S by 5.8m transversely over walls 1.1m thick which stand to an average height of 0.9m. The angles are noticeably rounded, both internally and externally, and two opposed doorways situated towards the S ends of the side-walls.

Access to the island from Ulva was facilitated by a causeway 2.7m in width and about 60m in length, to the S of which, on the Ulva shore, rocks have been removed to form a boat-inlet. A small bay immediately to the SW also contains an inlet and two boat-noosts; these were probably associated with the former township of Baligortan, situated a short distance to the NE.

The remains on Dun Ban may be ascribed to the late medieval period, and it was presumably a residence of members of the family of MacQuarrie of Ulva. There are no records of the cadet branches of this family before the mid-17th century, and no references to the site have been identified before the 19th century, when it was described as 'Glackingdaline Castle' (NSA 1845, 349).

RCAHMS 1980, visited June 1973.

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