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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 673334

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NM34SE 1 3841 4160.

(NM 3841 4160) Dun Ban (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

Dun Ban, Ulva: 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.

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).

A small scale excavation was carried out on Dun Ban, running a trench round the inside of one of the walls. Finds included a small piece of pottery, two hollow-shafted nails 3/8ins in diameter and 1 1/4ins long, decomposed rock, charcoal and ash. The stratigraphy was poor. The finds were sent to Durham University.

NSA 1845; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1973; Information contained in letter from U Betts 11 December 1958; Information contained in letter from T Willcocks, Schools Hebridean Society.

The remains on Dun Ban are as described. The name 'Glackingdaline Castle' could not be confirmed.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (RD) 19 May 1972.

Site recorded during survey for the Scottish Agricultural College, under the Historic Scotland Ancient Monument Survey Grant Scheme.

NM 3841 4160 Island dwelling (NM34SE 1).

Sponsors: Historic Scotland, Scottish Agricultural College.

T Rees 1998

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