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Harris, Dun Stuaidh

Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Harris, Dun Stuaidh

Classification Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 10520

Site Number NG08SW 6

NGR NG 0422 8316

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Harris
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NG08SW 6 0422 8316.

(NG 0422 8316) Dun Stuaidh, Loch Rodil, is a narrow spit of land connected to the mainland of Harris to the N by a narrow isthmus, submerged at high tides. The summit is inaccessible except at the N and S ends where it is defended by stone ramparts. That to the N is 7ft wide and 2ft high, but at the S end only a remnant of wall is discernible. The fortified area is 90 yards long NNW-SSE and 26 yards across the S part widening considerably towards the N. The entrance is at the N end. Oval enclosures are situated behind the wall on the W side of the entrance and on the W side of the narrow part of the summit.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 1914.

Dun Stuaidh, the remains of a promontory fort, defined by a wall which has occupied the cliff top around the whole of the promontory but which is now greatly eroded. It is best preserved across the neck of the promontory where both inner and outer wall faces can occasionally be seen, indicating a thickness of c.2.0m. The entrance is central to this part of the wall and is approached obliquely up a fairly steep slope. The 'oval enclosure' to the W of the entrance has been created by the tumbled remains of a curved wall which occurs c.6.0m behind the main wall and now appears as a sub-rectangular platform. It is impossible to decipher, and may not be contemporary with the fort. There is no trace of any other internal features.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (NM K B) 5 July 1969.


Note (13 January 2015 - 18 May 2016)

This fort occupies a precipitous promontory which projects SSE into the head of Loch Rodil. Girt with cliffs along both sides, the irregular interior measures about 90m from NNW to SSE by a maximum of 45m transversely at the landward end, reducing to no more than 25m towards the S (0.21ha). The defences are also best preserved at the landward end, where a wall about 2m in thickness can be traced along the lip of the steep slope dropping into the narrow tidal neck. When first noted in 1914, this wall was only recognised here and at the southern end of the interior, but Keith Blood of the OS also observed traces of rubble surviving in places along the flanks, and the circuit may have been continuous. The entrance is on the NNW, where a pathway climbs obliquely up the slope from the neck. The only feature visible within the interior is an arc of tumbled wall set to the rear of the main wall on the NNW, which forms a sub-rectangular platform.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2686


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