MHG11416 - Meeting Place - An Dun, Reiff


Formerly believed to be the site of a dun, this is now recognised as a natural feature. The site is also known as "Parliament Rock" and was used as the meeting place of the village council.

Type and Period (3)

  • (Former Type) DUN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • MOOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The name ""Dun"" is misplaced on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map c.1875, which has led to this natural feature being misidentified. Also known as ""Parliament Rock"" and used as the village council meeting place. <1>

Notes and photographs of this site were compiled by D Mason in 2004. The site appears to be an entirely natural rock formation. No loose stones of any kind are exposed on the upper parts, ie there is no obvious sign of any human addition to the natural rock, recent or ancient. <2>

Information about the site was submitted in March 2009 by Donald MacDonald-Ross: ""In 1955 Calum MacLean of the School of Scottish Studies recorded an interview with the local Factor of Coigach, Murdo John MacLean, part of tapes SA1955/160-2. Murdo said of the Dun of Reiff (in Gaelic);

“… there was a custom in the village in my own lifetime, and a long time before then, and until the population declined, there was a custom in that township that every man in the township would meet sometime in the evening at the Dun - that was their meeting house.”

That agrees with the Ordnance Survey description of it as a “local parliament”, and closely is similar to the old Norse institution of “Thing”, which name has devolved in many ways and places, example “Dingwall” or “Tinwald”, “field of the Thing”, or “Althing”, the parliament of all of Iceland.

Other Norse place descriptors survive in the area, and I think rather than a “Dun” or hill fort, the name and use represents a rare Scottish continuation of a Norse cultural activity, “Thing” into the early 20th century.""<3>

Mr MacDonald-Ross's comments suggest that the original placement of the name on early Ordnance Survey maps may be the correct version. <4>

Photographs of the view from this site were forwarded to the HER in November 2010. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NB 96541 14379 (38m by 47m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NB91SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish LOCHBROOM

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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