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Skye, Dun Liath

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Skye, Dun Liath

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Elgol

Canmore ID 11443

Site Number NG51SW 2

NGR NG 5433 1427

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NG51SW 2 5433 1427

(NG 5433 1427) Dun Liath (NR)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

All that is left of Dun Liath is a large circle of stones, in places 20' wide and 4' high; it was plundered to provide material for a high drystone dyke in the immediate vicinity. The inner and outer foundation courses are visible in many places, giving an internal diameter of 38' N-S and 35' E-W. The wall thickness varies from 10' in the S, 12' in the W, to 13'9" in NE. The entrance has been destroyed, but there is slight evidence for placing it on the SE.

Possibly a broch, but not positively identified as such. Listed as an uncertain example (A Graham 1949).

RCAHMS 1928, visited 1914; A Graham 1949.

Dun Liath occupies a small spur on the lip of a steep slope 100' above Loch Slapin. Its plan, size, and general appearance, though denuded, indicate that it is a broch.

As described by the RCAHMS.

Visited by OS (C F W) 14 June 1961.


Field Visit (14 May 1914)

Dun Liath, Elgoll.

About 1¼ miles east-north-east of Elgoll, and about the same distance north-north-east of Dun Grugaig [NG51SW 1], on the east side of the peninsula of Strathaird, on a flat, grassy plateau some 10 yards west of the edge of the steep slope down to the shore of Loch Slapin, is Dun Liath. It stands about 100 feet above the high-watermark and about 250 yards distant from it. All that is left of what had been a fine building is a large circle of tumbled stones, in places20 feet wide and 4 feet high; the dun was plundered of stones to provide material for a high drystone dyke in the immediate vicinity. The outer and inner foundation courses of the building being visible at many places, the internal diameter from north to south is found to be 38 feet and from east to west 35 feet. The wall varies in thickness; it seems to be 10 feet at the south, 12 feet at the west, 13 feet 9 inches on the north-west, and 16 feet on the north-east. The entrance has been destroyed, but there is slight evidence for placing it in the south-east.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 14 May 1914.

OS map: Skye l.

Publication Account (2007)


NG/5433 1427

This possible broch in Elgol, Skye, stands on a flat, grassy plateau 10m from the edge of the steep slope leading down to Loch Siapin. There is little left but a large circle of tumbled stones although traces of the foundations of the outer and inner faces of the wall are visible in several places. These indicate an internal diameter of 11.6m (38 ft) north-south and 10.7m (35 ft) east-west. The wall seems to vary in thickness, from 3.05m (10 ft) in the south, 3.7m (12 ft) in the west and 4.19m (13 ft 9 in) on the north-west. Swanson's figures differ slightly from these [4]. There are slight traces of the entrance on the south-east.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 51 SW 2: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 211, no. 655: 3.MacSween 1984-85, 44, no. 22 and fig. 22: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 905.

E W MacKie 2007


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