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Skye, Dun Vlargveg

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Dun Vlargveg

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 11481

Site Number NG53NW 9

NGR NG 5179 3690

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/11481

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

NG53NW 9 5179 3690.

Dun Vlarveg, near mouth of Ollach River.

RCAHMS 1928.

NG 5179 3690. Dun Vlarveg, a galleried dun situated on a small sea-grit promontory connected to the mainland by a natural rock arch. It consists of a galleried wall 19.0m in length standing 3,0m at the SE end to 3.7m at the NW end. The entrance is centrally placed and 1.2m in width. In the wall, 1.3 m SE of the entrance, a gallery 0,5m wide can be seen, the roof being 0.2m above present ground level. The ends of the wall flank on vertical cliff faces and the area enclosed measures 23m NW-SE by 12m transversely.

Visited by OS (A S P) 21 April 1961.

Dun Vlarveg, a fort on size rather than a dun, consisting of a curving wall drawn across the neck of a small cliff girt promontory.

The wall, 20.0m long, is built along the top of a rock outcrop overlooking the promontory, and varies in thickness from 3.5m in the NW to 3.9m in the SE with the outer face surviving to a height of three courses. The entrance, 1.2m wide, is centrally placed. There is no trace of a gallery as stated by previous OS surveyor. His evidence for one appears to be a single horizontal stone 1.3m along the SE side of the entrance passage which is probably fortuitous tumble, as it is much too low in the wall to be a lintel.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (A A) 20 September 1971.

Activities

Note (19 January 2015 - 16 November 2016)

The presence of a fortification in this area is first noted by the RCAHMS investigators preparing the County Inventory, including it under the heading of 'Sites', with a clear implication that there was little to be seen, 'near mouth of Ollach River' (RCAHMS 1928, 185, no.584). Subsequent fieldwork in 1961 by the OS placed it on the first promontory W of the mouth of the river, at the NGR supplied for this record, and it is this location that was revisited by Alan Ayre of the OS in 1971, but the depiction published by Ann MacSween, stemming from an undergraduate dissertation (1985, 53, fig 75), is difficult to reconcile with the topography of the promontory identified in the OS records, and might even be of the promontory immediately on the E of the mouth of the Ollach River; likewise her observation that 'very little of the walling remains' conflicts with the description by the OS of a single wall some 20m long and from 3.5m thick at its NW end to 3.9m at the SE end, where three course of the outer face still was still visible in 1971. The wall has been built along the crest of a rib of outcrop, thus exaggerating its height, and has an entrance 1.2m wide midway along its length. Ayre dismissed the earlier report that the wall contained a gallery. Constructed across the neck of the promontory, which is pierced by a natural arch, the interior measures no more than 20m from NW to SE by 12m transversely (0.02ha) and is evidently heavily eroded along its E flank

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 16 November 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2719

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