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Dun Mac Sniachan

Dun (Period Unassigned), Fort(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dun Mac Sniachan

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned), Fort(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dun Mac Uisneachan; Dunmacsniachan; Dun Macuisneachan; Benderloch; Ardmucknish Bay

Canmore ID 23234

Site Number NM93NW 2

NGR NM 9032 3822

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/23234

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Ardchattan And Muckairn (Argyll And Bute)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM93NW 2 9032 3822.

(NM 9027 3817) Dun Mac Sniachan (NAT) Fort (NR) Dun (NR)

(Undated) OS annotation.

On a steep-sided, isolated ridge lying between the village of Benderloch and the NE shore of Ardmucknish Bay are the remains of a series of defensive works comprising two successive forts and a dun. The earlier of the two forts measures about 245 metres by 50 metres maximum width within a wall which ran round the margin of the summit area of the ridge. This wall survives practically throughout its length as a grass-grown band of stony debris in which five separate masses of vitrified material can be seen. The entrance was probably in the SE through the natural gully in that area. In the scrub-covered interior there are no indications of buildings.

The later fort, situated near the SW end of the ridge, measures 52 by 21 metres within a wholly vitrified wall which overlies the earlier wall on the NW and survives as a grass-covered stony bank spreading to a width of up to 6 metres. On the SE side, a 7 metres stretch of inner facing stones is exposed. The location of the entrance is not now apparent. During excavation in 1873-4 (R A Smith 1872-4) several metal objects (eg a tanged iron sword, an iron dagger, an enamelled bronze circular mount) were found and are now in the NMAS.

The dun is situated at the lower end of the ridge, in the NE, and measures about 18.3 by 15.2 metres within a wall about 3 metres thick. This wall survives as a grass-grown bank of stony debris. The removal of some of the debris on the east side revealed a vitrified mass of core material of the wall of the original fort. On the SW of the dun are the remains of two protecting outer walls running transversely across the ridge at distances of 9 and 18 metres respectively from the wall of the dun. Each of these outer walls has a centrally placed entrance, though no corresponding gap in the actual wall of the dun is visible, and the position it would occupy if in line with the other two is now blocked by four large earthfast stones.

On the SE flank of the ridge, 6 metres outside the wall of the earlier fort, there is a cavity in the rock 1.3 metres square, and normally filled with water fed through a crack in the rock above. This cavity was originally a natural feature but was enlarged and deepened to provide a well.

RCAHMS 1975.

As described. The 'Stone Circle (Remains of)' on OS 6" 1900 Edition, and also shown on Smith's plan was mis-identified. It is, in fact, part of the dun wall.

Visited by OS (DWR) 3 November 1971.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

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