MHG3159 - Fort - Dun Santavaig


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FORT (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG35NE 11 3822 5720.

(NG 3822 5720) Dun Santavaig (NR)
OS 6"map, (1968)

To the S of the mouth of the River Hinnisdal, in the angle between the river and Loch Snizort Beag, is a flat-topped ridge. The E or mainland side of the ridge rises steeply from a hollow, and the W flank and N extremity being precipitous, the position is one of unusual strength. The dun has been defended on the S and SE, the only assailable part, by a stone wall, the remains of which show, in places, three or four courses of building in position on its outer face. From the edge of the cliff on the SW this wall is carried across the ridge for 30 yards and thence N along the E flank for some 60 yards, where the rising height of the ridge makes further defence unnecessary. The outer facing foundation stones of an outer defence, running E from the edge of the cliff at the SW, are traceable across the ridge 18' distant from the outer face of the main wall at the entrance passage, 9 1/2' wide at the S end of othe enclosed area. The lower courses of the E side of this entrance passage through the inner wall are still in position, showing that the wall is c. 8 1/2' thick at this point. The area enclosed is of large extent with a breadth of 183' overall from the N extremity of the walling on the E to the edge of the precipice on the W, and it is approximately 350' in length.
Abutting on the inside of the wall on the E flank are two hut circles measuirng 12' in diameter overall, and some diistance to the N is an oval hollow, 18' x 9', which seems to have been walled. As the bottom is damp and contains a vigorous growth of iris, it may have been a water reservoir.
RCAHMS 1928, visited 1926.

Dun Santavaig, as described by RCAHMS except that the wall along the E flank probably continued on for some distance past the start of the precipitous rocks, for although there is nothing to be seen along the tip of the drop there is some fallen stone on the slope below. Also the foundations of a wall can be traced along the W of seaward side for some 40m indicating that the defences originally carried around the cliff top on that side. The dimensions suggest that this is a fort rather than a dun.
Visited by OS (C F W) 2 May 1961.

Dun Santavaig, a fort, is generally as described by RCAHMS and as planned by previous OS field surveyor. The alleged hut circles and oval enclosure still exist but are very poorly defined. They are of uncertain age and purpose. They could be contemporary with rig and furrow cultivation which occupies much of the interior of the fort.
Visited by OS (R L) 30 September 1971.

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

GIS spatial data created 2018 based on OS Master Map. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NG 3823 5720 (84m by 148m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG35NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish SNIZORT

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External Links (2)

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