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Creag Nam Mann, Skye

Fort (Prehistoric)

Site Name Creag Nam Mann, Skye

Classification Fort (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 11314

Site Number NG45NW 1

NGR NG 4021 5552

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/11314

Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NG45NW 1 4021 5552.

(NG 4021 5552) On Creag nam Meann are the remains of a stone-walled fort. An irregular oval on plan orientated almost N-S and measuring 170ft in length and 82ft in breadth at its widest part. It has been defended by a stone wall practically obliterated on the W flank and appearing as a tumbled mass of stone 2ft high on the opposite side. This wall diverges from the regular line at places following the cliff edge projections. Both ends have been defended by an outer wall. The entrance is from the SE corner of the ridge and between the inner and outer defence is walled on both sides. Immediately within the outer defence, to the left, is a hut circle 13ft in diameter abutting on the inside of the wall and there are traces of two impinging hut circles further W.

Within the fort are three more circular stone huts and in the SW are indications of two large curvilinear enclosures. At the N end of the enclosed area in the body of the wall which widens to 27ft are several indeterminate structures.

RCAHMS 1928.

This fort is as described by RCAHMS except that it measures c. 91.0m in length. The hut circles between the southern outer defence and the main enclosure are very indeterminate.

Visited by OS (C F W) 2 May 1961.

Activities

Field Visit (30 May 1914)

Dun, Creag nam Meann.

At Creag nam Meann, on a flat-topped rocky ridge on the east side of the road from Portree to Uig, some 9½ miles from the first mentioned place, are the remains of a stone-walled fort. The summit, which rises some 50 feet above the surroundings and 250 feet above sea-level, is an irregular oval in shape, the main axis running almost due north and south. The enceinte measures 170 feet in length and 82 feet in breadth at its widest part. It has been defended by a stone wall practically obliterated on the western flank and appearing as a tumbled mass of stone 2 feet in height on the opposite side. This wall diverges from the regular line at places following the projections of the edge of the cliff.

Both ends have been defended by an outer wall. On the north the outer wall, though much dilapidated, shows a width of 5 feet and is erected across the end of the ridge some 46 feet distant from and 16 feet lower than the inner defence; the outer defence to the south, which shows a breadth of 5 feet 6 inches, is erected 6 feet lower than and 23 feet distant from the inner wall, but unlike the northern outer wall, which terminates on the rocks on the sides of the ridge, the ends of this wall return sharply to meet the inner defence. The entrance is from the south-east corner of the ridge and between the outer and inner defence is walled on both sides. Immediately within the outer defence, to the left, is a hut circle 13 feet in diameter abutting on the inside of the wall, and there are traces of two impinging hut circles farther west.

Within the enceinte are a number of buildings. Against the wall on the eastern flank is a fine hut circle 20 feet in diameter, with a wall 4 feet thick and 1 foot high, the entrance being towards the south Almost opposite it but rather towards the north, abutting on the western wall, is a large hut circle 30 feet in diameter, of which the inner face in the form of a ring of large stones placed contiguously remains in position, and there is evidence of a similar structure to the south of it. On the inside of the wall to the west of the entrance is another well defined hut circle of smaller dimensions, and in the south-western arc are indications of two larger curvilinear enclosures. At the northern extremity of the enceinte in the body of the wall which widens to 27 feet are several indeterminate structures.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 30 May 1914.

OS map: Skye xvii (unnoted).

Field Visit (20 April 2015 - 22 April 2015)

Field visits were undertaken to various sites, 20–22 April 2015, as part of a general survey of forts on Skye carried out by Simon Wood and Ian Ralston as part of the fieldwork for the former’s PhD research.

NG 40210 55520 Creag nam Mann (Canmore ID: 11314) The northern part of the fort at Creag nam Mann has been quarried away. The remains of several large structures are visible in the flat interior. At least one of these structures overlies the fort rampart, suggesting a later phase of activity on the hilltop.

Archive: National Record of the Historic Environment (intended)

Funder: School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

Simon Wood and Ian Ralston – University of Edinburgh

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Note (19 January 2015 - 15 August 2016)

This fort occupies a flat-topped ridge of rock on the E side of the road to UIg and its NNW end appears to have been destroyed by quarrying since it was visited by the OS in 1961. Oval on plan, when first recorded in 1914 the RCAHMS investigators give the dimensions of the interior as about 52m from NNW to SSE by 25m transversely (RCAHMS 1928, 200, no.624), which roughly accords with a sketch-plan drawn up by Ann MacSween about 1984 (1985, 48, fig 44), but in 1961 the OS surveyor noted that it was 91m in length. If this is the case (and it is difficult to resolve the size and shape of the fort on MacSween's plan with the topography visible on modern satellite imagery), some 35m of the NNW end of the interior has been lost to the quarry, which has broken through the flank of the ridge on the N; the original extent of the fort may yet be resolved by fieldwork along the precipitous WSW margin of the ridge, for though the RCAHMS description notes that the stone wall that provided the main defence was largely obliterated, this flank of ridge appears largely unaffected by the quarry, and the stub of the outer wall at the NNW end might also survive. In the surviving portion of the fort, perhaps representing about two thirds of its original extent, the main wall survives along the ENE flank and at the SSE end as a band of rubble up to 0.6m high. There is also an outer rampart at this end, which returns along both flanks to meet the inner wall, thus forming a broad hornwork around the entrance in this end. Within the interior there are at least three stone-founded hut-circles, the two larger ones measuring 9m and 6m in internal diameter respectively.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 15 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2712

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