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Islay, Mullach Ban, An Dun

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Mullach Ban, An Dun

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Mulloch Ban; Reidh An Duin; Ardmore; 'midway Between Aros Bay And Port Mor'

Canmore ID 38053

Site Number NR45SE 13

NGR NR 4674 5133

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/38053

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

NR45SE 13 4674 5133

(NR 4674 5133) An Dun (NR)

OS 6-inch map, 1900.

An Dun [NR]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1981.

(East coast). Dun, Mulloch [Mullach] Ban. The highest of several isolated rock peaks midway between Aros Bay and Port Mor, and less than ¼ mile [402m] from [the] shore, is girt with a massive stone wall, the over-all area being about 100ft [30.4m] by 83ft [25.3m]. Doubtful traces of a fosse and outer rampart on the slope at the NE end.

(This is one of the five duns that are noted in 3½ miles [5.6km] of coast between the E spur of Beinn Bheigeir and the SE corner of the island).

V G Childe 1935, no. 5.

The remains of a dun, (name An Dun verified) situated at the south-west end of a rocky ridge. It measures 22.0m NW-SE by 20.0m, transversely within a rubble wall 3.0m to 4.0m wide; the outer face is traceable for most of the periphery, protruding through the tumble to a maximum height of 0.8m. The inner face is not discernible. There are rubble-filled gaps in the wall in the WSW and ENE, either or both of which could be entrances.

The latter is at the easiest means of approach, and corresponds with a gap in an outwork, which extends across the ridge some 10.0m from the dun. This outwork is faced externally with massive blocks similsr to the dun, and survives to a maximum height of 1.0m. Towards its south end are traces of a Medieval stabilising wall.

To the east of the outwork are vestigal remains of a further wall which apparently crossed the ridge. Little remains of it but the outer face of large stones visible intermittently through the turf. Whether this wall is contemporary with the dun or with nearby later field walls is unclear.

Within the dun is a relatively recent marker cairn and further accumulation of stones against the wall. See enlargement.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (NKB) 20 March 1979; Information from OS (BS) 24 June 1978; (undated) information from RCAHMS.

This dun and its outworks stand 700m N ofArdmore on the summit of Reidh an Duin, one of several rocky ridges,

aligned NE-SW, which overlook the S side of Aros Bay. The flanks of the ridge rise, at first vertically and then steeply, to a height of 21m above the surrounding ground, but from each end the immediate approach is relatively easy.

The dun measures 22.5 m by 19.0m within a wall which reached a maximum thickness of about 4.5m at the entrance,

on the S. The outer face is exposed, at best, to a height of 0.8m in five irregular courses, but only one inner facing-

stone is visible. Much of the interior is occupied by a large pile of stones surmounted by an OS triangulation station,

and by several small circular enclosures and isolated lengths of walling of no great age, which are probably associated

with field-boundaries elsewhere on the ridge.

An outwork, consisting of a stout stone wall with an entrance situated in the centre, crosses the ridge to the NE,

providing a protective screen from the quarter where access is easiest. Long stretches of both inner and outer facing-

stones, including some massive blocks (up to 1.5m long, 0.4m high and 0.5m broad), are still in position, the outer

face surviving to a height of 0.9m in two courses. From near the SE end of this cross-wall the remains of another wall

extend to the SW along the outer edge of a slight natural terrace which appears to have been widened to provide a firm

foundation. The forward scarp of this terrace is up to 1.5m high, and while no facing-stones can be seen, the terrace has a considerable amount of rubble embedded in it. After running SW for some 40m, the wall turns to the NW, and, after a gap of about 20m where no traces remain visible, reappears as it approaches the natural rock face on the W.

RCAHMS 1984, visited June 1976.

Activities

Field Visit (23 May 1934 - 25 May 1935)

Visited by Childe in 1934.

V G Childe 1935

Note (3 October 2014 - 18 October 2016)

Situated on the summit of a steep-sided and rocky ridge, this small fortification comprises three elements: a roughly oval enclosure occupying the summit; an outer wall cutting across the spine of the ridge on the NE; this latter overlies the third element, an outer enclosure. The summit enclosure measuring 22.5m from NE to SW by 19m transversely (0.034ha) within a stout wall up to 4.5m in thickness at the entrance on the SSW and has considerable portions of the outer face exposed to a height of 0.8m around the SE quarter. The outer wall on the NE has a probable entrance midway along its length and at its S end probably overlies the outer enclosure. The wall of the latter is reduced to little more than a thin band of rubble, which can be traced along the lip of a natural terrace around the SE and SW and peters out on the edge of the crags on the NW. While the inner enclosure encloses no more than 345 square metres, and thus qualifies as a dun, there is no reason to assume that the outer enclosure is contemporary with it, possibly once forming a freestanding circuit enclosing an area measuring 48m from NE to SW by 34m transversely (0.13ha), and though well below 0.2ha threshold set for inclusion into the Atlas, evidently considerably larger than a fortified building.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 October 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2171

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