MHG12223 - Dun - Clashnessie


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • DUN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Recorded in survey by Dr Thomas C. Welsh, Sept. 1998.
See assoc. docs.
EM 18/08/2004

NC03SE 4 0563 3157.
NC 055 315. A small promontory dun occupies almost completely isolated pillar of rock on shore. It is formed by a narrow ruinous wall which borders rock to enclose an area measuring about 35' by 25'. The entrance is in SW.
R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1911. <1>, <2>

An Dun, Clashnessie: On a prominent flat-topped rock which rises abruptly to height of some 30' above shelf that fringes shore, are remains of an irregular elliptical structure following to some extent outline of rock, and measuring overall 36' x 26'. Only foundations remain. The entrance has been at landward end. On either side the rock is cut off by a deep chasm.
RCAHMS 1911. <1>

An oval dun, indicated on current 1" by an unidentified 'o' (at NC 0566 3157). Several courses of 2m to 3m thick wall remain, enclosing a level area 6m by 3m. The area available for building is no greater than 10m by 7m and landslip on N side has eroded part of that wall. The dun is well-known locally. (See NC03SE 1 for erroneous Name Book {1875} siting.)
Info contained in letter from T C Welsh 4 July 1971. <3>

NC 0563 3157: Known locally as "An Dun", this oval dun is reduced to its foundation. It survives as a level turf- grown area with rubble wall core showing occasionally through turf and in two or three erosion cavities. Traces of outer face give overall measurements of 13m NE-SW by about 11m NW-SE. The entrance is not evident. 3 metres outside wall in SW are scant remains of an outwork protecting the approach.
Surveyed at 1:10560. Visited by OS (A A) 1 August 1974.

No change to the previous field report.
Surveyed at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J B) 8 August 1980.

Shown on Roy's Map as inhabited. <4>

Clashnessie Dun (NC 06530 31570) is situated on an almost detached outcrop of rock some 10m above the sea. To both N and S of the outcrop are narrow vertical clefts down to the sea (C1 & C2) and there are two blowholes running from C1 up through the outcrop at C3 & C4. A narrow neck of rock (C5) links the outcrop to the other side of cleft C1 and immediately to the north of it a section of the cliff wall of the outcrop has fallen away leaving a narrow embayment (C5). To the NE and the SW the outcrop falls away less steeply in a series of steps. On the SE landward side a stretch of beach, just above high water level links it to the mainland. When gales blow from the north however, the outcrop is effectively cut off from the shore and surrounded by crashing waves rising over the tops of the clefts, through the blowholes and over the causeway.
The earliest documentary reference to Clashnessie Dun is Roy’s map of Assynt (c 1750) which shows it as inhabited. Roy marks none of the other promontory duns or brochs in Assynt. Home’s map of 1774 marks Clashnessie Dun and Clachtoll Broch but none of the others. Clashnessie Dun is incorrectly marked on both the 1st and 2nd edition of the OS 6 inch map where it is sited on a small peninsula half a mile NNE.
The Dun was surveyed at 1:50 in order to show the detail of the remains, which are now very fragmentary and difficult to interpret. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NC 0562 3158 (36m by 37m) Approximate extent
Map sheet NC03SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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