MHG44366 - Fort - Sean Dun, Sanday


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

At Dun Easubric are remains of walling and an entrance, with two huts just outside and one inside. Another is to the E at the foot of the cliff.
Private 6"map, annotated by T C Lethbridge 1953.

(NG 2812 0397) A rock stack topped by three possible structures, one of which could be a dun, and a cross-wall. 'Sean Dun' on OS 6".
(Visible on RAF air photographs 106G/Scot/UK 53: 3069-70; flown 7 May 1946)

Lethbridge has mistaken Sean Dun for Dun Easubric. On Sean Dun a cliff girt plateau of rock at NG 2812 0397 is a fort with the remains of a hut circle inside. The irregular-shaped top of the plateau measures 80.0m NW-SSE by about 20.0m, with a wall about 2.0m thick, and a wall built along the top of the cliff on the NE landward side. Fragments of the outer wall face, 0.5m high, are visible. The entrance is almost central and is flanked on the NW side by a triangular-shaped slab on edge, 1.2m high, 1.5m wide and 0.3m thick. The width of the entrance is 2.0m. The 'cross wall' seen on aerial photographs is a natural hollow.
About 8.0m to the SE of the entrance and possibly partly overlying the fort wall, though this is not certain, is a denuded stone-walled hut measuring about 7.5m in diameter. There is debris scattered inside the hut and indications that a smaller structure has been inserted in it at a later period. There is no entrance evident.
Outside the entrance to the fort are the poorly-defined footings of two small later circular bothies, and another lies below the crag the the SE. Outside the two small bothies are traces of an enclosure wall probably contemporary with them.
Surveyed at 1:10 000.
Visited by OS (I S S) 29 May 1972.

The monument comprises of a fort on top of a rock outcrop. By the NE entrance to the fort are traces of ruined later buildings, while a short distance to the N of the fort are the remains of a kelp kiln.
The fort has been built on the top of a cliff-girt plateau. The irregularly-shaped top of the plateau measures 80m NNW-SSE by about 20m and this naturally strong location has been strengthened by the construction of a wall along the edge of the cliff on the NE, landward, side; fragments of this wall survive to a height of 0.5m.
The entrance, on the NE side, is about 2m wide and is flanked by a triangular-shaped slab on edge. About 8m to the S of the entrance are the stone foundations of a round house which measures about 7.5m in diameter. There are traces of a later structure constructed into the remains of the hut circle. Outside the entrance to the fort are the remains of two small circular buildings and another similar example lies to the SE of the crag. These are probably the remains of post-medieval houses or shielings. Traces of stone walls are associated with these buildings. 25m N of the base of the crag are the remains of a probable kelp kiln. This consists of two lines of stones about 4.5m long and 1.2m wide with single stones blocking both open ends.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated February 1994.

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 (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 2812 0398 (67m by 98m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG20SE
Civil Parish SMALL ISLES
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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