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Dun Dubh, Ford

Dun (Prehistoric)

Site Name Dun Dubh, Ford

Classification Dun (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 22821

Site Number NM80SE 7

NGR NM 8640 0479

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmartin
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes ( - 1970)

NM80SE 7 8640 0479.

(NM 8641 0480) Dun (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Dun Dubh - the Black Fort - is strategically situated on high, rocky ground in the col north of Dun Dubh hill, controlling an otherwise 'blind' saddle between Loch Awe to the east and the high ground to the west. It was a very small fort, and is much ruined but probably measured about 70' by 40' overall and probably had lower, outer works. A mass of fallen walling forms an oval on the summit, but at one point both faces of the inner wall can be traced, showing a width of 11'.

This portion of inner wall, which is on the west, shows indications of possible cells. The fort is unusual for this area in that it does not appear to sight other forts.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; M Campbell 1961.

The remains of a dun measuring about 22metres NW-SE and 14 metres transversely occupy the NW-sloping summit of a steep-sided crag. At the NW end is a collapsed stone wall about 4.6 metres wide with a possible entrance to the west. The SW side of the dun was probably also defended by a stone wall, which has fallen to the base of the crag. Elsewhere, the natural sides of the crag appear to have provided adequate defence. Surveyed at 1/10,000 scale.

Visited by OS (W D J) 3 March 1970.


Field Visit (May 1983)

On the sloping summit of a rocky knoll 1.25km NW of Ford there are the remains of a dun; (Campbell and Sandeman 1964) it is approached from below by way of a grassy gully on the NW and through a gap in the outcropping rock, which has been blocked at a comparatively recent date.

An area about 20m by 13m has been defended by a wall which was drawn around the margin of the summit on the NW, NE and probably also the SW; on the SE the steepness of the natural rock face may have made artificial defence unnecessary. Measuring about 3m in thickness, the wall is best preserved on the NW and NE, where the stretches of outer face, which are founded below the level of the summit, stand up to 1.1m high. A few massive outer facing-stones remain in position, measuring up to 2.8m by 0.5m by 0.4m, while others have slumped outside the wall-line; only two inner facing-stones can be identified. There is no trace of wall-material in situ on the SW, but the step-like form of the summit edge in this sector, and the amount of rubble to be seen below, suggest that the wall continued along this side also. The entrance, which lies on the WNW, has been disturbed by the construction of a rude shelter; two large slabs, which may have formed part of the entrance-passage, have been angled towards each other and roofed with further slabs. Overlying and just outside the wall on the NE, there are a number of recent animal-pens.

Visited May 1983



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