MHG12033 - Possible Dun, Dun, Loch Borralie


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • DUN (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC? to 1057 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(NC 3840 6753) Dun (NR)

NC 3840 6753. Situated on a rocky eminence above Loch Borralaidh, on its NW side, are the considerably mutilated remains of a circular structure which would appear to be a dun. The remains of a rampart of earth and stones surmount the perimeter of a knoll. The rampart is 1.2m high and spread to 2.5m on N side of the knoll. The S segment has been robbed of its material but the perimeter is still definable as a low scarp. Immediately abutting it on the W side is a rectlinear hollow, running N-S and measuring 24m in length and 0.7m to 1.2m in depth. The W and N sides of this are strongly banked, the scarp being 1.5m high. This is possibly the remains of an outwork of the dun into which a rectangular building has been built. There are traces of a ditch on NE side of the dun but this has been filled in. The entrance is not apparent.
On W of the rectilinear-shaped hollow is a small rectangular house foundation with an accompanying enclosure bank on the S.
70m N of the dun is a modern sheepfold with two rectangular house foundations and an enclosure bank joined these on the W side of the fold. These structures would appear to be of post-Clearance date. Visited by OS (J L D) 10 April 1960.

This circular structure with its adjoining earthworks is generally as described and planned by the previous field investigator. It is turf-covered, and has been so severely robbed, presumably to build the adjoining sheep-fold and ruined houses (NC36NE 67) that no details of its construction are exposed. Its position on a rocky eminence and the amount of debris remaining leave little doubt that it was at least a defensive homestead, but it cannot with certainty be classified as a dun (see also NC36NE 10).
Visited by OS (J B) 27 May 1980.

A pronounced subcircular mound with a sloping, uneven summit. The mound consists of a circular bank enclosing a central area. The S and W quadrants of the circle are defined by low banks with some stones protruding, which blend into the contour on which the structure is built. These banks are quite difficult to trace on the ground but protruding stone reveals the line. The banks on the N and E quadrants are much more extant, although distinguishing natural from artificial contours is difficult without removing the turf cover.
The mound is 3 m + high on the N, with a pronounced bank 0.6 m high and 1.5 m wide along the upper edge. Mound is 1-2 m high on the NE, with concentration of rubble on the lower slope. There are small mounds and hollows across the surface of the mound, possibly robber pits for post Medieval/19th century surrounding structures. The mound measures 20.5 m N/S. There is a hint of a ditch on its NE side, 2.2 m wide on the W, 4.7 m wide on the E and 6.2 m long E/W. The N side of this ditch is defined by bedrock outcrop, so it may be an entirely natural feature such as a hollow between two outcrops.
Dun of ?Iron Age or Early Medieval date.
On steep-sided grassy spur at 20 m AOD, with ground sloping to Loch Borralie to S, SE, and E.
Recommendations: The site has been robbed in the past, probably for post-Medieval buildings (eg, 124) and sheepfold (125) but seems to be under no current threat. Recommend detailed topographic survey. <1><2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 3839 6753 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC36NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.