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Islay, Caisteal Dhonnachaidh

Enclosure (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Caisteal Dhonnachaidh

Classification Enclosure (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 37603

Site Number NR34NW 27

NGR NR 344 450

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/37603

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 27 344 450.

The E end of a sloping spur that projects from the coastal bluff approximately 100m S of the chapel at Kilnaughton (NR34NW 5), and a little way to the W of the track leading to Port Ellen lighthouse (NR34SW 22), is occupied by the slight remains of an enclosure. The S flank of the spur, though steep, is largely grass-covered and rises barely 3m above the level of adjacent ground. On the N flank and nose, however, precipitous rock-faces, increasing to almost 6m in height, afford a greater degree of natural protection, while to the W a broad ditch has been cut across the base of the spur to impede access from higher ground beyond; the ditch, at present some 7m wide and 2.5m deep, was probably produced by the accentuation of a natural hollow, and its profile may have been altered somewhat in relatively recent times by its use as a customary way.

Roughly triangular on plan, the enclosure measures about 15m from E to W by 8m in maximum breadth over all. Traces of an enclosing wall of stone and turf survive on the S, where the outer boulder foundations can still be seen on the margin of the summit area, and the scatter of stones that is visible near the middle of the N side suggests that it originally continued across the base of the spur, although the construction of the later track and adjacent field-wall has probably destroyed it in this sector. The summit of the spur falls appreciably from W to E, and it is possible that the conspicuous transverse scarp in the W portion of the interior may have been produced, in part, by attempts to provide an area of reasonably level ground; the facing-stones situated near the S end of the scarp are probably part of a revetment associated with such improvements.

Visited November 1981.

RCAHMS 1984.

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