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Ardnamurchan, Sanna, Rubha An Duin Bhain

Cultivation Remains (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned), Shieling Hut (Post Medieval)

Site Name Ardnamurchan, Sanna, Rubha An Duin Bhain

Classification Cultivation Remains (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned), Shieling Hut (Post Medieval)

Canmore ID 22141

Site Number NM47SW 1

NGR NM 4485 7038

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Ardnamurchan
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM47SW 1 4485 7038.

(NM 4485 7038) Fort (NR)

OS 1:1000 map (1974)

Fort, Rubha an Duin Bhain: Situated about 700 m NNE of Sanna village on the rocky headland known as Rubha an Duin Bhain, there are the remains of a promontory fort. The approach from the S, or landward, side is across uneven rocky ground, and the flanks are strongly protected by sheer precipices 16 m in average height.

A heavy stone wall has been drawn across the base of the promontory, cutting off a roughly trapezoidal area measuring some 65 m from N to S by 40 m transversely. The wall is in a badly ruined condition, surviving for the most part as a bank of stony debris 3.7 m in average thickness and up to 1 m in height; two short stretches and several isolated stones of the outer face are still visible, as shown on the plan, but no inner facing-stones can be seen. The position of the entrance is indicated by a narrow gap in the wall-debris, opposite a natural cleft in the apron of rocky ground lying immediately S of the fort.

Access to the entrance was restricted by a short length of wall, now reduced to a mere scatter of core material, which was constructed between the W side of the cleft and the precipitous W flank of the promontory. Much of the interior is occupied by bare rock, but immediately to the N of the main wall there are two grassy shelves, upon which stone or timber houses could have been built, although no remains are visible.

D N Marshall 1967; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972.

This fort was in a similar condition to that described by the RCAHMS when seen in 1970. South of the fort is an area of cultivation of 18th - 19th century period which is bounded on the landward side by a wall joining separate stretches of rock outcrop to form a barrier. Built against the base of a rocky cliff within the walled area, is a ruined shieling measuring about 3 m by 2 m.

Fort surveyed at 1:10,000; enlargement at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (NKB) 8 June 1970


Note (12 November 2014 - 23 May 2016)

This fort occupies a precipitous promontory on the north coast of Ardnamurchan, its defences comprising a wall reduced to a bank of rubble some 3.7m thick and 1m high with two runs of outer face, which cuts across between the cliff-edges to block access from the landward side. Trapezoidal on plan, the interior measures a maximum of 90m from NW to SE by 45m transversely (0.29ha). The entrance midway along the wall opens onto a natural cleft in front of the wall, access to which is covered by a short length of outer wall, though this has been reduced to little more than a scatter of stones. The interior is largely bare rock and featureless, though in 1970 the OS surveyor identified a small structure at the foot of a rock-face as a shieling hut; it does not appear on the RCAHMS plan.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2523


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