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Skye, Dun Borrafiach

Broch (Iron Age)

Site Name Skye, Dun Borrafiach

Classification Broch (Iron Age)

Canmore ID 71398

Site Number NG26SW 2.01

NGR NG 2355 6371

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Duirinish
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

A track affords the only access to Waternish Point, passing two brochs of the 1st millennium bc. Dun Borrafiach reveals evidence of mural galleries within the remains of its 3 m thick circular walls.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NG26SW 2.01 2355 6371.

Dun Borrafiach occupies a rocky outcrop overlooking the shallow basin of the Borrafiach Burn. The broch measures 16.5m in overall diameter with the outer face still standing to a height of 2.7m on the S half in eight courses including many massive blocks; the N half, however, has been rather more denuded. The line of the inner face can still be detected on the N and this indicates a wall thickness of some 3.6m; where it can be measured the inner skin of walling appears to be some 1.7m in thickness. The entrance, situated in the NW quadrant, has been cleared out since the Commission's description of 1921, but the precise arrangement is still unclear on two counts: reconstruction in antiquity and careless clearing out in modern times. The SW side appears to be on the original line and measures some 4m in length; it is constructed of large blocks of stone and rises above the rubble fill to a height of 1.5m with a distinct batter. At a point about 0.8m from the outside there is an upright jamb-stone rising some 1.1m above the rubble. The jamb-stone is 0.5m broad and 0.13m thick. There is no sign of a bar-hole on this side. The NE side appears to have been narrowed in antiquity by the insertion of an additional thickness of walling to the inside of the probable position of the jamb-stone on this side. The outer width of the passage was originally some 0.5m. Part of the main walling is still visible at the centre of the passage where a width of about 1.4m may be suggested; there are also signs of corbelling. The secondary walling has, however, narrowed the passage to some 0.9m at the centre and about 0.55m at the inner end. All the passage measurements have been taken at between 0.6m and 0.9m above the original floor-level. On the NE and E a long stretch of the outer face of the intra-mural gallery is still visible; the gallery is some 0.7m wide and the inner and outer wall thicknesses are about 1.3m and 3.5m respectively.

Visited by RCAHMS (JNGR) July 1990.


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