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Dun Hasan, Rubha Nan Brathairean, Skye

Midden (Medieval)(Possible), Monastic Settlement (Medieval)(Possible), Well (Medieval)(Possible)

Site Name Dun Hasan, Rubha Nan Brathairean, Skye

Classification Midden (Medieval)(Possible), Monastic Settlement (Medieval)(Possible), Well (Medieval)(Possible)

Canmore ID 11536

Site Number NG56SW 5

NGR NG 5262 6262

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes ( - 1971)

NG56SW 5 5262 6262

(NG 5262 6262) Dun Hasan (NR) (Site of)

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

Rudha nam Brathairean is a low flat peninsula connected with the high cliff of the mainland by a narrow ridge rising to a sharp crest. Blocking the outer edge of this ridge is a flat-topped rock with precipitous sides, rising about 100' from the sea and about 50' above the flat grassy plateau between it and the extreme point of the promontory. The summit of this rock occupied by Dun Hasan, is of irregular shape and measures about 88' NW-SE by 40'. Across the SW, accessible, side are the remains of a straight, well-built, drystone wall erected at a distance varying from a few inches to about 4' from the edge of the rock. The entrance through this wall is broken down, but for a distance of about 18' to the NW the outer face shows a height of some 2'6", and the extension to the SE is clearly defined, though covered with vegetation. Round the remaining part of the circumference of the dun there is a parapet of earth and a few stones, 6' in width and 3' in height.

(RCAHMS 1928, visited 1915).

Not an Iron Age defence, but a later complex occupying the whole of Rubha nam Brathairean, probably a monastic establishment.

The structure described by RCAHMS and planned by OS field surveyor (A S P) occupies the whole of the level summit of a triangular precipitous crag known as Dun Hasan, which rises some 20' above the approach route from the SW along a crumbling knife-edged ridge. It measures internally about 19.5m N-S by 8.0m at its widest point in the S, within a wall of indeterminate thickness whose straight, vertical outer face in the W is well preserved to a maximum height of 0.9m, with traces of it also in the E and S. The wall is bonded with shell mortar. Midden material of animal bones and winkle shells is visible in the collapsed SW corner. The entrance, reached by means of a winding path up the cliff, has been midway along the W side but has completely fallen away. Except for a circular depression 1.5m in diameter and 0.3m deep in the SW corner, possibly a well, the interior is featureless.

A similar precipitous path leads down the crag in the NE to a level turf-covered subrectangular area measuring c. 80.0m NE-SW by c. 60.0m, bounded by cliffs in the NW and SE and by a natural depression c. 20.0m wide in the NE. There are traces of a wall around the edge with an intermittent outer face visible in the E and in the NW corner where it stands to a height of two courses. The interior is featureless. Immediately NE of the natural depression is another level area, roughly triangular on plan and measuring c. 60.0m NE-SW by c. 33.0m at its widest point in the SW. This too has been surrounded by a wall, best preserved as a turf-covered bank along the N side with several outer facing stones visible. In the interior are two small turf-covered structures, one oval measuring c. 5.0m x c. 3.5m near the NE corner, the other circular c. 4.0m in diameter about midway near the SE side. There are also traces of other possible structures too vague to interpret.

Visited by OS (A S P) 27 April 1961 and (A A) 4 November 1971.


Field Visit (31 August 1915)

Dun Connavern, Culnaknock.

This dun occupies the whole summit of an oval, rocky knoll on the rough plateau which rises to a height of some 400 feet above sea-level, about ½ mile west-south-west of the school between Culnaknock and Valtos. On the east side the knoll rises barely 15 feet in height, but on the west it is rather higher and the rocks are steeper. The dun has been defended by a stone wall built on the edge of the hillock, and measures externally some 79 feet from north-west to south-east and about 42 feet across. On the eastern flank a considerable length of the outer face of the wall remains standing about 3 feet in height; though quite broken down along the western flank, which is more rugged and irregular, its position is indicated at several places, and at the south end three large blocks are left in their original places.

The position of the entrance is doubtful, but a row of stones at the southern end may indicate the line of its western wall.

Along the highest part of the interior of the dun, about 6½ feet within the wall on the eastern flank, there is a bank of stones and earth simulating an inner defence, but as the space enclosed by the outer walls is so narrow, it is doubtful if this can have been a wall.

On the plateau below the rocks on the west of the dun there is a number of indefinite foundations of stone buildings.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 31 August 1915

OS map: Skye viii.


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