MHG3439 - Fort on summit of Dun Deardail


One of two probable Iron Age forts on the hill known as Dun Deardail, south east of Loch Ness. This is the more northerly of the two and occupies the summit knoll.

Type and Period (1)

  • FORT (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH52SW 2 5268 2394.

(NH 5270 2393) Dun Dearduil (NAT) Vitrified Fort (NR)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

Occupying the summit of a cliff-girt ridge named Dun Dearduil is a fort, said by the RCAHMS (Information from RCAHMS to OS 1957) to be vitrified. It is subrectangular on plan, measuring 26.0m NNE-SSW by a maximum of 15.0m within a tumbled turf-covered wall surviving to an average height of 0.8m. The footings of the outer wall face are visible laid on bare rock on the cliff edge on the E side, suggesting an approximate wall thickness here of c. 5.0m. The RCAHMS note "numerous lumps of vitrifaction" in the wall, but, despite exploratory excavation in considerable amounts of tumble around the fort, none was seen. The entrance is discernible as a lowering in the wall in the SSE arc. Within the fort, at the lowest point in the SW corner, is a cistern, now visible as a damp, irregular depression c. 2.0m in diameter. Some 80.0m SW of the fort on a shoulder of the same ridge is another fort, now greatly denuded (see MHG3437). At NH 5271 2381 in a gully to the S of the fort is a stone-lined well, probably later.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Enlargement at 1:1250.
Visited by OS (N K B) 10 April 1970; Ross 1915

(NH 5268 2394) Dun Deardail (NAT) Fort (NR)
OS 1/10,000 map, (1972)

No change to previous field report.
Revised at 1/10,000
Visited by OS (J M) 19 January 1979

Historic Scotland describes this as an Iron Age fort, one of two forts and associated outworks on Dun Deardail. This fort occupies the true summit knoll and is sub-rectangular on plan. The measurements in the schedule entry differ from those given above, being 32m from NNE to SSW and a maximum width of 20m. The flat summit is surrounded by a turf-covered wall 0.8m high and the footings of the outer wall face can be seen laid on bare rock to the east. There is no mention of vitrification in the schedule entry. <1>

The fort was visited an dphotographed by R Spencer-Jones on 30/10/2014. The terrain surrounding the two forts is now littered with the remains of fallen trees, brash and other forestry debris. This means that the site can only be achieved after considerable wearisome exertion. <2>

This site was included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <3>

Sources/Archives (15)



Grid reference Centred NH 5268 2394 (41m by 45m)
Map sheet NH52SW
Civil Parish DORES
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (4)

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