MHG44720 - Vitrified dun - Torr Dhuin, near Fort Augustus


A vitrified dun on a rocky knoll near Fort Augustus.

Type and Period (2)

  • DUN (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • VITRIFIED STONE (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

Site photographed by Christine Yuil, 10/2002 - see thumbnail photo.
J Aikten : 22/1/04

NH30NW 1 3487 0695.

(NH 3487 0695) Torr Dhuin (NAT) Vitrified Fort (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Surmounting Torr Dhuinn, or Torr Duin (R W Feachem 1963) , a rocky knoll whose E side is a 200' precipice, is a vitrified dun, with two possibly earlier outer unvitrified defences, protecting the N, W, and S arcs.
The dun is irregularly oval on plan, (T Wallace 1921) and measures c. 19.0m N-S by 10.0m within an overgrown vitrified wall c. 3.5m thick in the N where it is best preserved. No wall faces nor entrance are evident. A trench across the N half is probably an excavation trench. Outside the dun and enclosing the summit of the knoll are the poor remains of a wall which survives mainly as a terrace. A short stretch of wall core survives in the N and the discontinuous footings of the outer wall face can be traced in the N, W, and S arcs. Although there is some tumble below on the slope, the poor state of this wall suggests it has been robbed to build the dun. A gully leading up the slope in the SW is the entrance. It cuts through the line of the wall where its NW side is flanked by a line of earthfast stones, but its SE side is obscured and the width of the entrance is uncertain. Near the base of the knoll is a boulder-faced rubble wall with an entrance in the S. The inner face is visible for about 11.0m in the NW and one or two outer facing stones at this point give a wall thickness of 1.7m. A line of earthfast stones flanking the entrance suggests that here the wall increased to c. 3.0m. The other side of the entrance is mutilated and the width cannot be ascertained. Although Cotton (M A Cotton 1954) states that "traces of vitrification have been observed in this wall", only pieces that have fallen from the dun can be seen, and it is undoubtedly not vitrified. See 1:1250 enlargement. (OS (R D) 5 May 1964)
Visited by OS (A A) 21 October 1970; A Ross 1915

The outer face of the medial wall can also be traced in the E above the crags some 4.0m outside of and below the vitrified wall. Here are several large lumps of vitrifaction but these have probably dropped down from the dun wall. One stone on the W side of the entrance through the outer wall indicates an entrance width of 1.7m.
Visited by OS (J M) 6 September 1974

(NH 3485 0693) Torr Dhuin (NAT) Fort (NR)
OS 1/10000 map, (1970)

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

Drumnadrochit & Fort Augustus Local Plan, Oct. 1991: P13/2.39. Ancient Mons. & Archyl. Sites.

A topogrpahic archaeological survey was carried out by Headland archaeology as part of a Forestry Commission project to survey five Iron Age forts, four of which were in Highland region. <1>

This site was included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <2>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NH 3487 0695 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH30NW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.