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Lewis, Dun Borranish

Causeway (Prehistoric), Dun (Prehistoric)

Site Name Lewis, Dun Borranish

Classification Causeway (Prehistoric), Dun (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Dun Cuithach; Uig Sands; Borranish A Muigh

Canmore ID 4031

Site Number NB03SE 1

NGR NB 05026 33234

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/4031

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

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Uig
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NB03SE 1 05031 33255

(NB 0502 3322) Dun Borranish (NR)

OS 6" map, (1965)

The dilapidated remains of Dun Borranish or Dun Cuithach, as it is sometimes called, from a mythological giant who, after oppressing the country, was slain by the Fians.

The remains of the building, now a tumbled mass of stones, measure 49' overall NNE - SSW and 43' WNW - ESE. The entrance seems to have been on the NNW. Very little of the outer facing of the wall remains in position, but a section towards the NNE, which is straight, suggests that the building has been D-shaped. On the side facing the shore some not wholly ruined wall gives a thickness of 9' but there is no trace of galleries. The dun is connected with the land by a causeway, 70' long by 7' broad, which is laid obliquely across the intervening sand.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 1914.

Fragments of hand made pottery from the site were donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) by J G Callander.

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1914.

Dun Borranish - the tumbled remains of a dun which straddles a hog-backed island. The outer wall face can be traced for most of the periphery except in the W where it has been destroyed. The inner wall face is visible occasionally around the E arc and it is particularly well defined in the N and S arcs where two later bothies abut onto it, giving a wall thickness ranging from 3.2m to 2.6m. The entrance is not apparent but could have been in the NNW as suggested by RCAHMS. The causeway is as described.

Midden material containing sherds of thick coarse pottery is visible in several places around the dun.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (R L) 28 June 1969.

Activities

Field Visit (18 June 1914)

Dun Borranish (Dun Cuithach), Uig Bay.

On a tidal islet rising about 7 feet above high-water mark, some 20 yards from a southerly projecting promontory at the east side of Uig Bay, about ½ mile south by east of Uig Manse, is the much dilapidated Dun Borranish, or Dun Cuithach as it is sometimes called from a mythological giant, who, after oppressing the country, was slain by the Fians. The remains of the building, which are now a tumbled mass of stones, measure 49 feet all over from north-north-east to south-south-west ,and 43 feet from west-north-west to east-south-east. The entrance seems to have been on the north-north-west. Very little of the outer facing of the wall remains in position, but a section towards the north-north-east, which is straight, suggests that the building has been D-shaped. On the side facing the shore some not wholly ruined wall gives a thickness of 9 feet, but there is no trace anywhere of galleries. The dun is connected with the land by a causeway, 70 feet in length and 7 feet broad, which is laid obliquely across the intervening sand.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 18 June 1914.

OS map: Lewis xxiii.

Field Visit (4 March 2003 - 12 March 2003)

AOC Archaeology were grant aided by Historic Scotland for a second successive season of fieldwork related to a partnership project to assist a PhD studentship investigating the Marine Reservoir Effect, as well as a further project which includes analyses of Plaggan Soils. A total of 25 potential sites were visited to ascertain their potential for sample retrieval relating to the two projects described above.

None of the ecofactual or artefactual material noted at any of the sites visited could be described as being in secure contexts. The material was either within what appeared to be deposits interpreted as topsoil, in unstratified spreads, which were eroding out of the overlying eroding windblown sands, or in the case of Galston within deposits which appeared to have slumped down from above. In light of this no samples were taken for the PhD studentship concerned with the Marine Resevoir Effect. Some soil micromorphological samples were, however, taken in the connection with the study into Plaggan soils. These samples will be reported on at a later date.

AOC Archaeology - Alan Duffy (2003)

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