MHG12928 - Broch, Dun Dornaigil


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Type and Period (1)

  • BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

(NC 4572 4501) Dun Dornaigil (NAT) (Broch) (NR)
OS 6" map, (1961)

Dun Dornaigil (OS 6"map, {1908}) Dornadilla (A Pope 1777) or Dornagail (A Young 1964) is the ruin of a broch standing generally to a height of 6ft to 11ft externally but to 22ft on the NE, which arc contains the debris-choked entrance with its massive triangular lintel. This section has been buttressed internally in modern times. The interior measures 27ft in diameter and the wall is 8ft thick where visible above the debris filling the courtyard. Only the two outer roof-lintels of the entrance are in situ, but the remains of a guard-chamber survive on the right. An entrance to a mural chamber, or possibly the stairway, is indicated by a large lintel in the internal wall, 24ft to the left of the entrance. Immediately opposite the entrance, a small opening has exposed the top of a chamber roofed with overlapping flags.
Cordiner mentions three galleries surviving within the wall in the 18th century, but, except on NE, the wall has been reduced to the level of floor of first gallery. In 1874, the name was collected as 'Dun Dhoirneghil', but was 'corrected' to 'Dun Donradilla' by Rev J M Joass, Golspie. The broch is still known locally as 'Dun Dornaigil' (Info from Dr C S Sandeman, Durness) , but 'Dornadilla' form of the name is of interest in that a 'Dornadille' appears in early king lists.
A Pope 1777; C Cordiner 1780; Name Book 1874; OS 6"map, Sutherland, 2nd ed., (1908); Visited by OS (A C) 3 June 1959; A Young 1964.

Dun Dornaigil, a broch as described by the previous authorities.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (N K B) 9 November 1978.

NW SUT Local Plan, May 1987: P23/2.36.
J Aitken : 11/06/01.

Cait McCullagh submitted photographs of the broch via the Highland HER Facebook page. <1>

Nicki MacRae submitted photos via the Highland HER Flickr group in May 2011. <2>

Broch, Dornadilla (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG10129.

Broch, Dornadilla (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG10135.

Broch, Dornadilla '65 (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG10141.

Dun Dornaigil (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG13674.

Dun Dornaigil (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG13675.

Dun Dornaigil, broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8548.

Dun Dornaigil, broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8549.

Dun Dornaigil, broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8550.

Dun Dornaigil, broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8551.

Dun Dornaigil, broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8552.

Pope, A, 1777, Archaeologia Vol. 5 1777, p.216-17, 216-18 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3523.

Cordiner, C, 1780, Antiquities and scenery of the north of Scotland, in a series of letters to Thomas Pennant, Esq., 108-10 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2061.

Grierson, A, 196-?, [Photographs of Scottish abbeys, and other buildings, taken by Alec Grierson], 2 general views, 25V1964 (Grierson nos 5947-7) Neg C62516-7 (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG2296.

Young, A, 1964, 'Brochs and duns', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 95 1961-2, p.171-98, 184-5 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG293.

Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 151, No. 82 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

<1> Highland Council, 2011, Highland HER Facebook page (Interactive Resource/Webpage). SHG25262.

<2> MacRae, N, 2009-2011, Photographs of various HER sites by Nicki MacRae, via Flickr (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG25329.

Sources/Archives (17)



Grid reference Centred NC 4571 4501 (70m by 70m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC44NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (5)

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