MHG12069 - Possible Fort, Eilean Nan Caorach


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • PROMONTORY FORT (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) MONASTIC SETTLEMENT (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A probable fort or possible monastic settlement on Eilean nan Caorach, a large rocky plateau with sea-cliffs on 3 sides and on fourth sloping down very steeply to a broad isthmus. A track climbs diagonally up this slope from , and at crest of the slope is a very strong wall of massive boulders, some of them 3 ft to 4 ft each way. The wall is pierced by an entrance at head of the track and behind the wall at E end is a stone hut circle, 12 ft in diameter internally. There are many other circular depressions on the summit, some of which may be huts, but many must be shell-holes as the site lies in a naval firing range.
R G Lamb 1972 (see archive).

This fortification is generally as desribed by Lamb. The strong wall on S side of a plateau extends for about 65m; it averages 2.2m wide and 0.5m high. Many outer facing stones survive, some particularly large, but there is little indication of an inner face. The small, sub-circular stell which abuts the wall almost undoubtedly post-dates it. No further structures could be identified from numerous shell-holes. Therefore from size and position of the wall, and the natural strength of site, it can be assumed that this is a promontory fort.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 2 June 1980.

Additional information to R J Lamd 1972: The entrance gap through the wall is 2.5m wide and lined with boulders similar to those forming the foundation of the wall. The hut circle measures 3.7m overall. 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 (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 3509 7160 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC37SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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