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Skye, Dun Torvaig

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Dun Torvaig

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 11300

Site Number NG44SE 2

NGR NG 4937 4422

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NG44SE 2 4937 4422.

(NG 4937 4422) Dun Torvaig (NR)

OS 6"map, (1969)

Dun Torvaig, a dun with outworks on a rocky knoll.

The dun, oval on plan measures externally 28.0m NW-SE by 18.0m transversely. The wall is 4.1m thick at the N side of the entrance which is in the W and is 1.4m wide. Except at the entrance the inner wall face is not evident, but the outer face can be traced for most of the periphery. Within the wall is a stabilising face which can also be traced for most of the periphery. Of two circular structures planned RCAHMS in the interior, the more westerly appears to be a ruinous recent structure, and the other is an amorphous scatter of stones with no structural details apparent, but possible fortuitous tumble.

The approach from the W has been blocked by two curving close-set walls of indeterminate thickness whose outer faces are well defined by blocks on edge. An entrance 1.2m wide in the SW is well defined by similar blocks.

Immediately outside the outwork in the N is a level platform, about 7.0m in diameter which although probably natural, would make an excellent hut stance.

Surveyed at 1/500.

RCAHMS 1928; Visited by OS (I S S) 11 October 1971.


Note (16 January 2015 - 1 June 2016)

The remains of this fortification are situated on a hillock on the W flank of Ben Chracaig, which rises up on the NE side of the bay at Portree. Rising over 10m above the surrounding ground, the summit is only easily accessible from the W, where the approach is barred by at least two strong walls to create a small promontory work. The wall of the inner enclosure has been reduced largely to a mound of rubble up to 9m in thickness by 2m in height, within which a length of the outer face of a substantial structure can be seen in the central sector. About 8m outside this wall there is a second line of defence, recorded on the RCAHMS plan drawn up in 1921 (RCAHMS 1928, 183-4, no.578, fig 261) as two concentric walls, each little more than 1m in thickness, swinging round the W flank, and the inner apparently returning back along the N flank towards the inner enclosure; these outer lines are pierced by an entrance 1.15 wide on the W close to the S margin of the hillock, but aligned NE and SW. Set only 3m apart, these are an unusual feature, and there is a possibility that, rather than being two, they represent the robbed out remains of a single massive wall. If so, this probably represents an earlier line of defence, cutting off an area measuring about 30m from NW to SE by 15m transversely (0.04ha), whereas the inner enclosure takes in an area of no more than 20m by 15m transversely (0.03ha). In essence, the latter is probably the remains of a dun inserted into an earlier fort, though there is no evidence that its wall continued round the rocky margins of the hillock. Several features are shown on the RCAHMS plan within the interior, but they are not elaborated in the description and have recieved no commentaries since.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 01 June 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2710


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