MHG11106 - Broch - Dun Viden


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Type and Period (1)

  • BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NC 7265 5188) Dun Viden (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6"map, (1964)

The remains of a broch (RCAHMS 1911; PSAS 1958; OS {JLD}) or dun (Young 1964), now a tumbled mass of stones, 1.5m high, within which wall faces, intermittently visible, give an internal diameter of about 9.5m and a wall thickness of 4.8m. The entrance 0.3m high and 1.1m wide is clearly defined in SE. Steep slopes defend site on W but there are outworks on other three sides - remains of a rampart on N & S, and a rampart, ditch and outer stony bank on east. A barbed and socketed iron arrow-head, found outside the broch, was donated to the NMAS by Miss A S Henshall in 1955-6. (Acc. No. GA 1265). There is also a flint from the site in the museum (Acc. No. AB 2655). Miss Young's reasons for classing this site as a dun are inferior stonework and small outer courtyard with stone walling supplementing the natural rock. She admits that it could be classed as a late broch. RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1958; A Young 1964; Visited by OS (J L D) 6 May 1960.

The site was Scheduled in 1938.

Dun Viden: a broch and outworks on an old river terrace. Generally as described except that the broch wall varies in thickness from 4.2m minimum to 5.3m max. The approach to the broch entrance is trenched with remains of a flanking wall on the north-east side. A later footing occupies SW end of the ditch.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J M) 8 December 1978.

NC75 5 DUN VIDEN ('Dun Vidden')
NC/7265 5188
This probable broch in Farr, Sutherland – described as “double-walled” in 1864 [7, 360] and as a “Pictish tower” in 1867 [6, 272] – stands on the east bank of the river Naver in a very strong position on top of a 21-24m (70-80ft) high knoll which has steep sides except on the east. There is an abandoned settlement close by which was doubtless built with stones from the site.
The structure is badly ruined and the entrance, on the south-east side, is 1.04m (3ft 5in) wide and 30cm high near the inner end. "Some of the flags which covered the passages have been made use of for enclosing calves when weaned ..." [6, 272]. There are slight traces of what may be the inner wall of a cell or gallery at about 5 o'clock but this could have come about by chance [9].
The steepest slope up to the site is on the west and elsewhere it is defended by outworks. These consist of the remains of a rampart on the north and south and, on the east, traces of a rampart, ditch and outer stony bank. Swanson gives more details of these features [9].
Dimensions: internal diameter about 9.5m [1] or 9. 15m (30ft) [2], and the wall is about 4.88m [1,2] (16ft) thick. This indicates an overall diameter of about 18.91m (62ft), or a little more (19m has been suggested [9]), and the wall proportion should be approximately 51.5%.
Find: a barbed and socketed iron arrowhead was found outside the site [5].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 75 SW 11: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 60, no. 181: 3. Young 1962, 189 ('dun'): 4. Feachem 1963, 173: 5. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 89 (1955-56), 460, no. 25: 6. Horsburgh 1867: 7. Joass 1864: 8. Mackay 1906, 132: 9. Swanson (ms) 1985, 727-29 and plan. <1>

The site is included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <2>

The Scheduling was amended by Histroic Environment Scotland with effect from 24/07/2023. <3>

Sources/Archives (11)



Grid reference Centred NC 7264 5187 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC75SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

Finds (2)

  • ARROWHEAD (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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