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Skye, Loch Mealt, Dun Grianan

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Skye, Loch Mealt, Dun Grianan

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Dun Greanan

Canmore ID 11526

Site Number NG56NW 1

NGR NG 5055 6529

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NG56NW 1 5055 6529.

NG 5055 6529 Dun Greanan (NR) Dun Grianan (NR)

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904) and OS 1"map, (1947)

Dun Greanan occupies the extremity of a low promontory on the N shore of Loch Mealt. Apparently it has been a broch but the greater part has been removed and what remains is used as a sheep fank. The outline of the structure is traceable for the greater part of its circumference. On the NW and NE quadrants about 3' of building remains in position, although towards the NE it is hidden under fallen debris. On the S half it is reduced to the foundation course and for a short distance this has been carried away. Although the inner face of the wall stands some 4' in height, most of this has been rebuilt in recent times. The internal diameter of the broch, which seems form almost a true circle, is 35' 3", and the wall is 10' thick on the W and 11' on the N. A gallery within the wall, about 2'2" width, is traceable the whole length of the NW sector, and in places along the S arc there seem to be traces of the inner wall of the gallery.

On the E side of the dun looking out into the loch there are very faint indications of the S side of an entrance passage.

Included in a list of Brochs (Graham 1949).

RCAHMS 1928; A Graham 1949.

Dun Greanan, a broch, as described above. An entrance to the gallery is visible on the N sector, 0.4m wide, the lintel stone 0.2m above the present interior ground level.

Of the entrance in the E sector, the footings of its south side are visible across the thickness of the wall, with traces of the North side.

Visited by OS (A S P) 25 April 1961.


Publication Account (2007)


NG/5055 6529

This badly dilapidated probable ground-galleried broch in Kilmuir, Skye, stands on a low, short promontory on the north shore of Lochmealt and next to an area of flat farmland; it must often have been robbed for stones in the past (visited in 1963 and 22/06/88). Much of the outer wallface is reduced to the lowest course, but the inner face of the mural gallery – clearly at ground level – is easily traceable much of the way round. Both faces can be seen in the west and north-west and two of its lintels are in place on the north-west arc. In the north-north-west – facing inland – can be seen a lintelled door to the gallery from the interior with a possible second such door in the south-west [4]. Part of the foundations are just under water at present [4, plan]. The inner face is about 1.2m (4 ft) high but has been rebuilt in modern times. A trace of the entrance passage was noted on the east side [2] and this is confirmed by Swanson [4].

The lintels over the gallery on the north-west side are only about 20cm above the rubble in the interior [4] so, despite its dilapidated appearance and closeness to the water level, Dun Grianan may be standing at least 1.5m high as far as the central court is concerned.

Dimensions: internal diameter about 10.75m (35 ft 3 in), wall thickness 3.05m (10 ft) on the west and 3.3m (11 ft) on the north; so the external diameter is about 17.lm (56 ft) and the wall pro-portion about 37.5%.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 56 NW 1: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 169, no. 539: 3. MacSween 1984-85, 44, no. 19 and fig. 19: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 819-21 and plan.

E W MacKie 2007


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