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South Uist, Loch Druidibeg, Dun Raouill

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name South Uist, Loch Druidibeg, Dun Raouill

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dun Raghaill; Dun Raghnaill

Canmore ID 9879

Site Number NF73NE 3

NGR NF 7785 3711

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/9879

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish South Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Dùn Raghnaill, later 16th century Ruin of an island fortlet (not technically a dun) on Loch Druidibeg, which, according to tradition, was the earliest Clanranald stronghold in South Uist. Occupied until relatively late, it was certainly in use as a prison in 1610, and a marriage document for a Clanranald daughter was signed here in 1653.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

Archaeology Notes

NF73NE 3 7785 3711

(NF 7783 3721) Dun Raouill (NR)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Dun Raoiull is situated on an islet about 80 yards from the southern shore of Loch Druidibeg, South Uist. It is built of drystone masonry and is rectangular in plan. Opposite the entrance, an irregular setting of large boulders in the loch indicates a possible harbour.

RCAHMS 1928.

Dun Raouill is as described and planned above. Date uncertain, probably medieval. On the island, 100.0m to the NE centred at NF 779 371 there are the remains of a few oval buildings and a garden, almost certainly associated with Dun Raouill. Surrounding the garden, and along part of the perimeter of the island is a tumbled stone wall about 0.4m high with a possible harbour in the SE. At the NW end of the wall is a small cairn 1.6m in diameter by 0.5m high.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 17 May 1965.

NF 7785 3710 Dun Raouill, Loch Druidibeg. The island is largely natural, though possibly modified to the NE. Its entirety above water is covered by a substantial rectilinear drystone dun. At least three phases of building are evident. The first is the outer walling 1.5-2m thick, slightly denuded around the NE and SW corners, as well as along the W edge. The only gap is at the entrance on the SE corner. The passageway is largely overgrown and filled with rubble. The second phase of building is the construction of the inner chambers, the larger western one possibly being earlier than the eastern one. The walls are lower than the outer skin, roughly 1-1.5m high, and 1m thick. The eastern cell appears to be lower and thinner, 50cm high and 75cm wide, though this may be largely due to differential survival. The walls of the smaller eastern cell and the NW corner of the larger western cell appear to have been consolidated at a later date, apparent in a single skin of stones creating curvilinear ends to both chambers. Both are heavily overgrown with trees and shrubs.

This interpretation is at odds to that of the RCAHMS (1928); they suggested that the remains were mostly of one phase, the upper 'breastworks' designed to hold the roof and modified as shooting butts.

Sponsors: Universities of Glasgow and Sheffield, King Alfred's College.

J A Raven and M Shelley 2003

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