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Bute, Dunagoil

Cave (Period Unassigned), Midden (Period Unassigned), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Site Name Bute, Dunagoil

Classification Cave (Period Unassigned), Midden (Period Unassigned), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 40278

Site Number NS05SE 11

NGR NS 08425 53142

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/40278

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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kingarth
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Buteshire

Archaeology Notes

NS05SE 11 08425 53142.

'Beneath these rocks we entered the long windings of a cave, worn black by eternal drippings of springs down its sides. For want of light we did not choose to penetrate beyond 40 or 50 feet: our companion informed us that its depth was not known. In barbarous times it is supposed to have been frequently a place of concealment to some enemy of the inhabitants; as it is at present to those of Her Majesty’s revenue, - the smugglers. Its rugged bottom was strewed over with fish bones, whose eatable parts had been devoured by otter, or the savage biped just mentioned. Notwithstanding this den like appearance of things, a botanist would have been delighted with the variety of aquatic foliage which fringed its entrance.’ Mr McKinlay examined with a light this cave, which runs under the highest ridge: it is 67 feet in length, and widens a little near the inner end, where the roof of it rises to a kind of dome; there are small caves under two of the other ridges.

Wilson 1855, quoting a tourist of 1792

There is a cave under the north-west end of the ridge of rocks next to the sea. The entry to and general height of it is considerable: the length between 60 and 70 feet. No moisture descends into it from above, and the floor is quite dry.

Blain 1880.

(Name: NS 0842 5312) Excavations in 1913 at the cave at Dunagoil produced evidence of occupation. Kitchen midden material of bones and shells was found, together with some large sandstone slabs, 20ft from the entrance. They were presumably hearth-stones. The deposit was similar to that at Borness Cave (NX64SW 1).

J N Marshall 1915.

Under the vitrifed fort (OS 085531) at Dunagoil there is a cave which, on excavation, was shown to have been occupied in Neolithic times and also during the occupation of the Iron Age fort above.

D N Marshall 1963

NS 0843 5313 A spacious cave 4.0m high, 2.0m wide and 17.5m long. The finds from this cave are in Rothesay Museum.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (B S) 23 November 1976.

Below Dunagoil fort there is a cave on the foreshore which was emptied by Lord Bute. According to Dorothy Marshall a spindle whorl and some pottery fragments were found - the latter being recognised as neolithic by Jack Scott.

Information from K A Steer, 16 July 1975.

This site was noted during a coastal zone assessment survey undertaken by CFA Archaeology Ltd to characterise the state of coastal erosion and the threat it poses to cultural heritage sites. A gazetteer in the report included a note of existing records and new sites when discovered. Where the site was located, notes included condition, period/date and recommendations.

Commissioned by The Scape Trust and Firth of Clyde Forum on behalf of Historic Scotland.

Cressey and Johnson 2004

This cave, which is situated at foot of the steep cliff immediately below the NW end of Dunagoil fort (NS05SE 4), about 70m from the high water mark, is as described by previous authorities.

Visited by RCAHMS (GFG, AGCH, ARG) 20 March 2009.

Activities

Desk Based Assessment (18 August 1972)

(Name: NS 0842 5312) Excavations in 1913 at the cave at Dunagoil produced evidence of occupation. Kitchen midden material of bones and shells was found, together with some large sandstone slabs, 20ft from the entrance. They were presumably hearth-stones. The deposit was similar to that at Borness Cave (NX64SW 1). Marshall suggests that the cave was occupied at the same time as the fort (NS05SE 4).

Information from OS (IF) 18 August 1972

Field Visit (23 November 1976)

NS 0843 5313 A spacious cave 4.0m high, 2.0m wide and 17.5m long. The finds from this cave are in Rothesay Museum.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (B S) 23 November 1976.

Field Visit (December 2003)

This site was noted during a coastal zone assessment survey undertaken by CFA Archaeology Ltd to characterise the state of coastal erosion and the threat it poses to cultural heritage sites. A gazetteer in the report included a note of existing records and new sites when discovered. Where the site was located, notes included condition, period/date and recommendations.

Commissioned by The Scape Trust and Firth of Clyde Forum on behalf of Historic Scotland.

Cressey and Johnson 2004

Reference (2004)

Field Visit (20 March 2009)

This cave, which is situated at foot of the steep cliff immediately below the NW end of Dunagoil fort (NS05SE 4), about 70m from the high water mark, is as described by previous authorities.

Visited by RCAHMS (GFG, AGCH, ARG) 20 March 2009.

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