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Islay, Port Na Caillich

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Port Na Caillich

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 37487

Site Number NR27SE 21

NGR NR 2529 7152

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NR27SE 21 2529 7152.

(NR 2529 7151) A dun occupies a low rocky headland at Port na Caillich. A large part of the wall has fallen away but a few inner and outer facing stones are in situ, and the entrance is in the S. External walling can now be seen closing gaps in the rock on the NW, NE, SW and SE. A stretch of outer wall crosses a natural fissure on the NW.

Information from RCAHMS, visited May 1977.

Situated 1.7 km ENE of Sanaigmore, this dun stands on a low rocky headland (4-2m OD), one of several that are

characteristic of this stretch of rough coastland. At high tide much of the seaward (N) end and sheer W side of the headland is submerged, leaving access relatively easy only from the inner end of the E side and from the landward (S) end. Immediately to the W, a small inlet provides a limited expanse of sandy beach at low tide.

The dun wall, which enclosed an area measuring probably about 10m by 10m, appears to have been up to 3-5 m thick at the entrance, on the SE; elsewhere, however, it is now reduced to a band of rubble, and on the N has fallen away almost entirely. Much of the uneven interior is occupied by spines of bare rock.

Detached stretches of walling can be seen closing gaps in the natural rock outside and below the principal dun wall, as

indicated on the plan. The most substantial of these is situated on the NW and has some massive stones incorporated

in its outer face, which is exposed to a height of 0.6m, with as much again buried under fallen debris. Each of the other three sections of wall appears as a light band of rubble.

Visited May 1977


The scant remains of a dun generally as described by the RCAHMS. It measures approximately 8.5m N-S by 7.5m E-W within a severly eroded wall reduced to a scatter of core material on all but the S side at the entrance gap, where some inner and outer facing stones remain indicating a wall thickness of about 2.5m at this point. No structures are visible in the enclosed area, largely occupied by exposed living rock. There is an outwork providing additional defence to the entrance to the S of the dun at a lower level. Little remains of the wall which follows the rim of a low cliff enclosing an area about 7.0m N-S by 6.5m E-W. A further defence may have existed to the NW of the dun where some tumbled stone occurs, but no coherent pattern can be recognised.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (N K B) 15 June 1978.


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