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Lewis, Dun Mara

Building (Period Unassigned), Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Lewis, Dun Mara

Classification Building (Period Unassigned), Dun (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 4379

Site Number NB46SE 5

NGR NB 49480 63132

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NB46SE 5 49480 63132

(NB 495 631) Dun Mara (NR) (Site of)

OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 1st ed., (1853)

Dun Mara (NR) (Site of)

OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1898)

The much-dilapidated remains of Dun Mara stand on a promontory, about 40ft above the high water mark. It is oval on plan, the main axis running about NW and SE, its external measurements 92ft by 72ft. The wall, up to two courses remaining, is 7ft 6 ins thick in the NE.

There are traces of two oval buildings in the interior. The one to the S shows only the curve of the W end, while that to the N shows a wall varying from 5ft to 9ft in width along the greater part of the flanks and round the W end. It has an internal width of about 15ft, but its length is not determinable.

There seems to have been an outer defence in the form of a ditch, 20ft broad and 2ft deep, cut from the edge of the cliffs on either side of the promontory and following a curve about 31ft distant from the wall of the dun.

Towards the north end of the ditch there is evidence of a stone rampart built on the counterscarp.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 14 July 1914.

Dun Mara, at NB 4947 6313, is generally as described by the Commission. The outer wall face is well-defined by large angular blocks for most of the periphery except in the west, where outcropping rock has been utilised in the defences.

The two oval buildings are intrusive, but of indeterminate date. The slight ditch is only pronounced in the NE where the stone rampart on the inner scarp can be traced. The remains of a stone wall outside this is apparently later, but appears to occupy the outer rim of the ditch. The name is still known locally.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (N K B), 15 June 1969.

A single unroofed building is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Island of Lewis, Ross-shire 1853, sheet 30) immediately to the SE of the Dun.

It is not shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1992).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK), 23 June 1997.


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