MHG11934 - Promontory Fort, Seanachaisteal


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • PROMONTORY FORT (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)
  • DUN? (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

(NC 4055 6943) Seanachaisteal (NR), Site of (NAT) Brough (NR)
OS 6"map, Sutherland, 2nd ed., (1908)

Situated on a promontory - c100' OD - jutting into sea and protected on all sides except S by steep cliffs are the remains of a probable dun. It is defended on S side by 2 ditches with a broad rampart, considerably mutilated, between them, cutting across the promontory. The outer ditch is c. 0.7m deep and has an average width of 11.4m. The rampart of earth and stone, measures 6.0m across its flattish top, standing 2.0m high above the outer ditch, and 1.2m above the inner ditch, which is c. 8.0m wide. On the N side of this ditch is a rocky knoll surmounted by the remains of an earth and stone rampart which has surrounded the summit of the knoll. This rampart has been considerably mutilated on the S side and the fragment on the N side stands 1.4m high; it enclosed an area of c. 13.0m by 12.0m. The knoll has been artificially scarped on the S segment to enhance the defensive situation.
Visited by OS (W D J) 9 April 1960.

(NC 4055 6943) Seanachaisteal (NR) OS 6"map, (1961)

Seanachaisteal (Name Book 1874) or Seanchaisteal - Old Castle (J Mackay 1891) - vitrified fort (Information contained in letter from E W Mackie, also K Reid, to OS 6 July 1967.
Name Book 1874; J Mackay 1891.

As described by OS (W D J) 9 April 1960. No evidence of vitrification. Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (I S S) 22 July 1971.

No change Visited by OS (J B) 15 September 1971.

Additional observations: The knoll is protected to rear by crags about 6m high which fall to a terrace a few metres wide above the sea-cliffs. There are traces of a parapet along land-facing edge of the knoll, and on the summit, against the crag, is a horseshoe-shaped depression which may be a hut foundation. There is a considerable hollow in the summit just N of the centrally placed entrance through the rampart. The rampart is accompanied by one ditch which lies below it. The site is probably a promontory fort.
R G Lamb 1980.

The site is included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <1>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 4056 6942 (91m by 194m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC46NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

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External Links (3)

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