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Skye, Dun Flashader

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Skye, Dun Flashader

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 11144

Site Number NG35SE 3

NGR NG 3511 5349

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/11144

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Duirinish
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes ( - 1971)

NG35SE 3 3511 5349.

(NG 3511 5349) Dun Flashader (NR)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Dun Flashader is a very dilapidated broch built on the summit of a flat-topped rocky eminence surrounded by crags about 25' in height. The inner wall of the broch shows an average height of from 3' - 5', but it is almost hidden by tumbled stones. The outer ring of the wall is traceable only on the N where the foundation stones remain in situ. The internal diameter is 34'9", and the wall at the foundation is 12'3" thick. Of the entrance passage on the W, only the N wall is traceable. In the thickness of the wall on the left hand side of the entrance there is a ruined guard-chamber or gallery 3'5" in width, while to the NE there are indications of another cell oor gallery in the wall. There is the suggestion of the right wall of the entrance to this chamber still in position.

(RCAHMS 1928, visited 1915; A Graham 1949).

Dun Flashader, a broch, is as described by the RCAHMS except for the following omissions:

(i) E of the broch on the top of the rocky eminence there is a horse-shoe shaped feature, possibly a wall which has collapsed but which was at least 3.0m in width and contains traces of what appears to be a collapsed gallery 0.8m wide. There is a gap to the SE, possibly an entrance, which leads into a gully in the outcrop. Within the feature is a ruined two-cell shieling hut.

(ii) To the S and W of the broch are two ruined hut circles measuring 8.0m and 6.5m in internal diameter.

Visited by OS (A C) 17 May 1961.

Dun Flashader, a broch, generally as described by RCAHMS and planned by previous OS field surveyor. The entrance door-check can be seen 1.3m along the passage from the outer wall face and a bar-hole is visible on the Nn side. The structure to the S is a guard chamber and not a gallery. The entrance to the opposing cell or gallery is 0.9m wide.

The feature to the E of the broch is part of a galleried wall of which a few stones of the inner face and both faces of the gallery are visible through the turf. There are also traces of walling around the S and SW rim of the eminence. Without doubt these walls are part of an earlier/ structure robbed to build the broch, but insufficient remains to assess its size and plan.

Of the alleged hut circles 'A' and 'B' on plan, 'A' is a sub-circular platform, c. 7.0m in diameter, edged by traces of a wall. Its classification is uncertain, but it does not appear to be a hut. 'B' is a roughly circular hollow, c. 8.0m in diameter, edged in the E arc by the remains of a substantial wall.It is not a hut and its purpose is uncertain.

Visited by OS (R L) 5 October 1971.

Activities

Field Visit (24 May 1915)

Dun Flashader.

Dun Flashader is a very dilapidated broch built on the summit of a flat-topped rocky eminence surrounded by crags about 25 feet in height, some 500 yards north-north-east of the U.F. church at Flashader, at an elevation of about 200 feet above sea-level, overlooking Loch Greshornish, ¼ mile to the west. The inner wall of the broch shows an average height of from 3 to 5 feet, but it is almost hidden by tumbled stones. The outer ring of the wall is traceable only on the north, where the foundation stones remain in situ. The dun is circular, measuring 34 feet 9 inches in diameter internally, and the wall at the foundation is 12 feet 3 inches thick. Of the entrance passage, which lies towards the west, only the northern wall is traceable among the debris. In the thickness of the wall on the left hand side of the entrance there is a ruined guard-chamber or gallery 3 feet 5 inches in width, while to the north-east there are indications of another cell or gallery in the wall. There is the suggestion of the right wall of the entrance to this chamber still in position, and the inner wall of the broch is 4 feet 4 inches thick at this place.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 24 May 1915.

OS map: Skye xvi.

Publication Account (2007)

NG35 3 DUN FLASHADER

NG/3511 5349

This very dilapidated probable broch in Duirinish, Skye, stands about 66m (200 ft) above the sea on a flat-topped rocky eminence surrounded by crags about 8.3m (25 ft) high (visited 24/4/63). It dominates a fertile patch of land on which the village of Flashader stands and lies between the village and the sea. The situation suggests that a view of the sea was considered desirable when the broch was built as there are equally suitable elevations further inland.

The structure is badly ruined and the only parts of the outer face visible are on the north and west arcs (with a short length on the south [4]), where the foundation stones remain. The north wall of the entrance passage is traceable on the west-south-west, with a possible slab door-check near the present outer end and another similar upright slab directly opposite it [4]. There is a ruined cell or gallery, 1.02m (3 ft 5in) wide, in the wall nearby and to the right of the passage; one lintel over the cell can be seen in situ at the end furthest from the entrance but whether this is a guard cell or not cannot now be determined [4].

The interior wallface stands from 90cm - 1.5m high (3 - 5 ft) and was mainly hidden by rubble in 1963; in 1985 it was visible most of the way round [4]. On the north-east, at about 1 o'clock [4, plan], are signs of another cell or gallery in the wall with traces of the right side of a door into it; this door is 1.28m (4 ft 4in) deep. The curved west end of the gallery can be seen and it is possible that this is the end of the stair-foot guard cell and that the intra-mural stair is to the right of the doorway [4].

There are two ruined hut circles to the south and west of the broch, and there is part of what seems to be a separate galleried wall about 13m to its north-east [1]. This feature is shown on Swanson's plan where it appears to be part of a long mound or forework; however the chronological relationship of this feature to the broch has to remain uncertain [4, plan].

Dimensions: external diameter about 17.4m (58 ft), internal diameter 10.35m (34 ft 6 in), wall 3.68m (12 ft 3 in) thick: the wall proportion is therefore c. 42.5%. Swanson gives the internal diameter as 10.6m north/ south and 10.8m east/west, and the wall thickness as from 3.8-4.0m [4]. The wall proportion would then be about 48%.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 35 SE 3: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 160, no. 513: 3. MacSween 1984-85, 43, no. 15 and fig. 15: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 833-34 and plan

E W MacKie 2007

Note (26 January 2015 - 16 November 2016)

The broch on the summit of a precipitous hillock at Flashader, which rises some 8m above the surrounding ground, probably lies within a larger enclosure. The wall of the outer enclosure extends round the margin of the summit, but it has been heavily robbed and mutilated; nevertheless successive OS surveyors visiting the broch identified the facing of a gallery in a mound of rubble on the E, and traced the band of rubble round the S and SW, enclosing an irregular area on the summit measuring about 40m from NE to SW by 35m transversely (0.13ha). Apart from the ruined broch, which measures about 10.3m in diameter within a wall 3.7m tin thickness and has an entrance on the WSW, there are evidently several structures between the broch and the outer wall on the summit area, including a later shieling hut, and there is what appears to be an entrance way leading up onto the summit on the SE. The relationships between all these features, however, are unknown.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 16 November 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2755

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