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Colonsay, Dun Uragaig

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Colonsay, Dun Uragaig

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 37824

Site Number NR39NE 1

NGR NR 3816 9826

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Colonsay And Oronsay
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR39NE 1 3816 9826.

(NR 3820 9823) Dun Uragaig: A promontory fort formed by a 3' high stone wall with a central entrance, spanning the neck thereby isolating an area whose other sides are naturally protected by steep drops. Immediately behind the wall is a cluster of seven huts on the west of the entrance and at least eight on the east. The larger huts are more than 20' in internal diameter; some are circular and some sub-rectangular, with walling about 1' in maximum height and well-defined entrances in some cases. The floor level is very little above natural rock. There is no sign of occupation on the rest of the promontory (visible on aerial photographs RAF/106G/Scot/UK 34: 3004-5, flown 1946).

S Piggott and C M Piggott 1948

The fort consists of a wall 60.0m long and up to 2.5m wide, six outer courses high cutting off a promontory measuring about 180.0m NE-SW by 90.0m. The entrance is 2.0m wide.

Within the interior, six circular and oval huts are located behind the wall, and measure from 4.0m to 6.5m in diameter. There are also several amorphous banks. In the centre of the promontory, two circular platforms possibly represent further hut circles.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 16 April 1974

This fort occupies an almost detached rocky promontory with sheer cliffs falling some 30m to the sea; only on the SE is

there access across a narrow neck of land, part of which has collapsed to reveal a cave below. A wall some 2m in

thickness was drawn across the neck along the crest of a rock spine, and several stretches of outer facing-stones survive, the best-preserved section standing to a height of 0.55m in three courses. The entrance is centrally placed. Set immediately behind the wall on each side of the entrance there is a series of hut-foundations, having internal areas about 4m in diameter within walls 1.0m thick. There are indefinite traces of several other foundations within the interior, as well as a small platform (a on the RCAHMS plan), partly scooped into the slope on the N side and measuring some 4m in diameter.



Note (1 October 2014 - 23 May 2016)

This fort occupies a rocky headland to the W of Kiloran Bay, with sheer cliffs falling 30m to the sea on all sides except the ESE, where there is a narrow neck of outcrop above a deep natural gully. The lip of the seaward side of this gully is crowned by a wall about 2m in thickness, along which several runs of outer facing-stones can be seen. Immediately to the rear of the wall there is a string of stone-founded structures, each about 4m in diameter within a wall 1.6m thick; traces of others can also be seen within the irregular interior, which measures about 175m from NNE to SSW by a maximum of 80m transversely towards the N end (0.82ha), and towards the NE margin of the summit area there is also a small platform of a similar size. The entrance is roughly in the middle of the wall, offset some 10m N from the outcrop forming the neck. The relationship between the structures within the interior and the defences is not known.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2161


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