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Islay, Dun Fhinn

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Dun Fhinn

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Kintour River; Aros; Claggain Bay; Claggan Bay

Canmore ID 38091

Site Number NR45SW 2

NGR NR 4425 5191

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

NR45SW 2 4425 5191

(NR 4425 5191) Dun Fhinn (NR)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900).

Dun Fhinn [NR]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1981.

Dun Fhinn, measuring 80ft N-S by 52 ft within 8ft walls, is increased to a total length of 103ft by a strongly built forecourt guard block within which, on the E, the 2ft wide entrance is covered by two guard cells 5ft by 6ft. The inner entrance, also 2ft wide, is covered on each side by inturned walls, 20ft long, and the dun wall widened to 10ft. There is a circular internal building, 22ft across within 3ft walls, increasing to 6ft thick at S to contain a recess and a small cell. Outworks cover the SE and SW foot of the hill.

F Newall 1964; F Celoria 1959; W Lamont 1959.

This dun is situated on a rocky knoll in rough moorland 1.6 km WNW of Kintour. The knoll rises 15m above the

surrounding ground but has little natural defensive strength.

The dun measures 18m by 11m within what was a massive wall varying in thickness from 3.5m on the NE to 2.0m on the WSW. Large inner and outer facing-stones remain in position intermittently, and wall debris covers the SE flank of the knoll in a scree-like spread. At the SW end there is a particularly heavy spread of jumbled stones, and while without

excavation it is not possible to be sure, it seems most likely that, as indicated on the plan, the wall split into two sections; the inner section followed the margin of the summit to complete the dun wall, while the outer section branched down towards the foot of the knoll, through a drop of about 3m, to form a curving outwork. The entrance through the

outwork is 2.7m in average width, and a short length of each of the side-walls of the passage is exposed. The entrance through the inner wall is obscured by debris. Within the interior there is a later intrusive enclosure formed by a wall 1m thick with an entrance facing NE.

RCAHMS 1984, visited May 1977.

Dun Fhinn (name verified) is situated on a rocky knoll on the end of a NW-SW ridge. It is sub-oval measuring 18.0m NE-SW by 11.0m internally. The majority of the outer wall face (up to 1.0m high) is intact on the north-west side with fragmentary inner facing giving a wall width of 2.7m at this point; elsewhere only the rubble core remains. The entrance in the south-west is guarded by a sub-circular chamber obscured by tumble, so that its precise measurements cannot be obtained.

Situated offcentre in the dun is a sub-circular enclosure possibly a hut. It is 6.0m NE-SW by 5.0m within walling 1.2m wide and 0.6m high with a 1.0m wide orthostated entrance in the north-east. Both wall faces are intact and the level interior is featureless.

There is no clear evidence of an outwork as there is much tumbled walling on all sides of the knoll.

Divorced Survey at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (TRG) 28 June 1978.


Field Visit (April 2017)

NR 4425 5191 A programme of surveying was undertaken in April 2017 as part of the Ardtalla Landscape Project, a collaborative project between Kilmartin Museum and Reading University, which forms part of the wider Islay Heritage Project. The survey area is located on the Ardtalla Estate in the SE of Islay. A detailed survey of Dun Fhinn was undertaken and a walkover survey conducted on the surrounding landscape. This involved the survey of the deserted settlements of Craigfhinn, Ballore and Staoin while other unnamed settlements were also recorded along with a

number of upland shieling sites.

Report: NRHE and WoSAS

Roddy Regan – Kilmartin Museum

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


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