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Field Visit

Date 15 May 2010 - 17 May 2010

Event ID 634516

Category Recording

Type Field Visit

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/634516

NG 3959 1595 The work on the peninsula, begun in 2009 (DES 2009, 92–93), continued on 15–17 May 2010 with a survey of the galleried dun. The 30m curving wall, in places up to 5m high, bounds a precipitous rocky headland now c225sqm in extent. On all three exposed sides there is evidence of major rockfalls on the foreshore below, while both E and W ends are disintegrating over the edge. The extent to which these processes have diminished the structure and the promontory beyond is unquantifiable but probably considerable. In view of its massive monumental architecture and the probability that the enclosed area was significantly greater than it is today, it is suggested that the monument is best categorised not as a ‘dun’ but as a ‘headland fort’.

Further examination of the adjacent canal feature revealed a distinctive change of build in the W revetment about half-way along its length, at NG 3945 1600. The seaward sector is built of long slabs laid horizontally while the upper sector leading into the loch is of smaller rounded rubble. This suggests two phases, the first linking the two boat nausts below the fort to the sea and the second continuing the canal into the loch. Although the stones of the fort wall are similar to those of the lower canal revetment, they do not appear to have been robbed. This suggests either that the fort, lower canal, and nausts are contemporary, or (perhaps more probably) that when the latter two features were built an already existing fort was retained as part of the overall scheme. A terminus post quem for the upper canal is provided by a boat timber from the loch which has been radiocarbon dated to AD c1100.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Morvern Maritime Centre

Colin Martin and Paula Martin – Morvern Maritime Centre

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