Skye, Dun Hallin
Broch (Iron Age)
- Council Highland
- Parish Duirinish
- Former Region Highland
- Former District Skye And Lochalsh
- Former County Inverness-shire
NG25NE 1.01 2566 5927.
(NG 2566 5927) Dun Hallin (NR)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)
Dun Hallin, a broch, occupies the SE end of a rocky plateau around the edge of which are traces of a wall.
The broch has an internal diameter of 36' with walling from 9ft 9ins to 11ft wide and up to 12ft 6ins high on the N and W. The entrance on the SE is ruined but on either side an oval cell is visible. A gallery can be traced on the SW.
RCAHMS 1928; A Graham 1949.
Dun Hallin, a broch as described above.
Visited by OS (ASP) 3 May 1961.
Dun Hallin occupies the SE corner of a roughly triangular flat-topped rocky outcrop overlooking Hallin and some 800m from the cross-roads to Geary; apart from the natural protection afforded by the rock stack the broch is additionally defended by a wall that runs round the perimeter of the stack enclosing an area about 40m from N to S and 50m transversely. No inner facing-stones of this outer work are visible, for the interior appears to have been cultivated, but, on the NW flank, stretches of the outer face still survive below the summit of the rock and this suggests that the wall was originally about 3.3m in thickness. The broch has been constructed of large blocks of stone, the outer wall rising with a distinct batter to a height of 3.4m. Circular on plan the broch measures about 10.8m internally with the entrance passage on the SE being too choked with debris to permit further description. Within the thickness of the wall on either side of the entrance there is a small oval cell. The NE cell is more fully exposed than that on the SW and measures 3m in length by 1.4m in breadth with its walls still standing to a height of 1.75m. Further dilapidation of the SW cell appears to have taken place since the site was recorded by the Commission in 1921, but the corbel stones of the W end of the cell are still visible, confirming a length of about 2.7m; the cell appears to be about 1.2m broad. In neither case can the entrance to the cell be detected. Within the thickness of the broch wall on the SW quadrant part of an intra-mural gallery can be seen; the entrance from the inner court measuring about 1m in width and the first part of the gallery being about 1.2m broad, the visible portion of the gallery terminating in what may be a flight of steps.
Visited by RCAHMS (JNGR) 4 November 1990.
Publication Account (2007)
NG25 2 DUN HALLIN
This unexcavated broch in Duirinish, Skye, stands about 137m (450 ft) above the sea and on .the south-east end of a flat-topped, steep-sided rock knoll overlooking a fertile valley and the sea (visited 24/4/63 and 15/8/85).
The broch wall is well preserved, up to 3.81m (12.5 ft) high on the north and west, and the outer face has a marked batter; both faces are built of cubical stone blocks and the interior is full of debris. The entrance is on the south-east but is either too dilapidated or too concealed under rubble for measuring; there seems to be one lintel near the inner end, which – if in situ – might suggest that it could be intact here and standing up to 1.8m high under the rubble.
On each side of the passage is an oval mural cell neither of the doors of which are visible; they seem likely to be a pair of guard cells [3, plan]. The northern, right hand cell measures 2.85m (9.5 ft) long by 1.35m (4.5 ft) wide and has been cleared out to a depth of over 1m at the end furthest from the passage. The lintel of what seems to be a doorway to the interior has been seen . The south cell was measured as 2.1m (9 ft) long in 1921 but is not easily seen now.
The interior of the broch is full of rubble, much of it grassed over; the inner wallface now stands one or two courses above the rubble, less than the 1.2m (4 ft) mentioned in 1921 . A mural gallery is visible on the south-west arc and the Commission's plan shows a door leading to it, though the text does not mention it. In fact at least one lintel remains in position over this door, at the level of the surrounding rubble, and a scarcement of the ledge-type can be seen at its inner end, mostly grassed over.
Moreover, though the sides of the gallery leading clockwise from this door seen in 1921  are not now apparent, the outer ends of six steps of the intra-mural stairway were found just exposed; the outer half of the wall has fallen away from them. The highest steps are 3-3.6m (10-12 ft) above the external turf, and are rising above the scarcement; there is therefore litt1e doubt that the upper intra-mural gallery is partly preserved under the rubble and that the structure is a hollow-walled broch. This seems to be confirmed by traces of an upper intra-mural gallery seen at about 4 o'clock [3, plan].
An outer stone wall runs round the edge of the knoll, which is about 6.1m (20 ft) high at the south; it is up to 25.9m (85 ft) from the broch on the north-west but only 2.44m (8 ft) on the south-east. The enclosed ground is a flat, grassy area.
The internal diameter is given as 36 ft (10.98m)  but this is above the scarcement; the actual measurement across the central court is likely to be about 10.52m (34.5 ft) ; similarly in 1921 the wall was measured as from 9 ft 9 in to 11 ft) (2.95-3.36m) but these measurements must also have been taken above the scarcement. It is also not clear whether the batter of the outer face was allowed for. The external diameter should be about 17.39m (57 ft) and the wall proportion perhaps about 39.5%.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 25 NE 1.01: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 158-89, no. 509 and figs. 206 and 226: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 851-52 with plan: 4. MacSween 1984-85, 42-3, no. 11 and fig. 11.
E W MacKie 2007