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Islay, Dun A'chail

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Dun A'chail

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 37597

Site Number NR34NW 21

NGR NR 3127 4796

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kildalton And Oa
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR34NW 21 3127 4796.

NR 313 480 A rock fort with an internal diameter of about 21ft lies at the north side of Port Alsaig. The walls are partly natural, partly artificial. This is probably the feature to which the name "Dun a Chail" on OS 6" map should be applied.

W D Lamont 1962.

NR 3127 4796 The turf covered remains of an dun occupying the south half of a steep rocky point named Dun a Chail, isolated at high tide.

Small flag coursed walling, up to 1.3m high externally and approximately 2.0m wide, ards the south and east sides of a natural depression and utilises natural rock faces on the west and north to form a circular enclosure 10m in overall diameter. The entrance appears as a simple gap in the east side with a difficult approach climb from the landward side. The only trace of blocking or revetting is in a narrow gully immediately beneath the entrance. The dished interior is turf covered.

Surveyed at 1:10000.

Visited by OS (JRL) 10 June 1978.

The remains of a small dun occupy the summit of a precipitous rock stack, isolated at high tide, which rises to a

height of 14m above the shore of Laggan Bay, approximately 850m SW of Kintra farmhouse. Much use was

made of natural rock features in the construction of the dun wall. On the W side the wall survives as a band of core

material running from a tall rock boss on the NW around the edge of the summit to a rock outcrop at the highest point of a crescentic scarp on the S; it then continues round the crest of the scarp as far as the entrance on the NE. On this side substantial stretches of the outer face survive, standing up to 0.95m in seven courses at one point. Only a few inner facing-stones remain, indicating a wall thickness of about 1.5m. To the N of the entrance the wall encloses a small grassy area leading up to the summit of the rock boss. Here the dun wall has collapsed down a narrow gully, and only a thin band of core material survives. At present the dun is approached by a series of crude steps up a rock face. and then by a series of crude steps up a rock face, and then by a narrow path to the entrance, now represented only by a gap in the wall debris. The interior of the dun measures 12.8m by 6.8m, but the crescentic scarp that forms the S part of the summit, and the rock boss reduce considerably the area available for occupation. Traces of agriculture of relatively recent date now occupy the interior.

RCAHMS 1984, visited 1979


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