MHG4827 - Dun Fiadhairt


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BROCH (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NG25SW 1.00 2311 5042
NG25SW 1.01 terracotta figurine

(NG 2311 5042) Dun (NR)
OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Dun Fiadhairt, a broch, measures 31ft internally within a wall up to 12ft thick. The entrance in the W is checked for a door and fitted with two communicating cells. Another cell lies in the NW sector of the wall, and the stair-lobby in the N, while a gallery occupies the E and S sectors (R W Feachem 1963).
Excavated in 1914 (F T Macleod 1915). Finds included an amber necklace, various beads with one dating from probably 2nd century AD., and a terra-cotta model of a bale of wool indicating trade links with Romanized Britain.
F T Macleod 1915; J Curle 1932; RCAHMS 1928; R W Feachem 1963.

Dun Fiadhairt, as described above. Largely cleared of debris; good condition.
Visited by OS (A C) 14 April 1961.

Roman terra-cotta object now in NMAS.
A Robertson 1970.

IA glass beads include a Guido Class 8 (small opaque yellow annular beads) from central hearth, a Class 13 (North Scottish spiral decorated beads) bead, and a Class 14 bead (North Scottish decorated annular beads). <1>

Dun Fiadhairt or Dun an Iardhard, NG25SW0001A

Brochs are round, tower-like houses, their monumental size intended to display the wealth and status of the agricultural communities who lived in them. Dun Fiadhairt sits on the centre of a small promontory, north-west of Dunvegan in Skye. Although surrounded by low ground, the broch is prominently sited on top of a steep rocky knoll. (55)
Dun Fiadhairt displays all the characteristic features of brochs. The approach is defined by parallel walls extending out from the broch tower, while the entrance passage is flanked by cells which could have been used as guard chambers. It is unusual in having a second, much narrower, entrance directly opposite the first. (53)
The interior living space is circular in shape and the drystone walls are hollow to contain intra-mural passages. Dun Fiadhairt was partially excavated in 1914. Among the finds were a necklace of amber beads and an unusual terracotta model of a bale of wool. (44)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
Ritchie, G., and Harman, M., 1996. Exploring Scotland’s Heritage. Argyll and the Western Isles.
Edinburgh: HMSO, 131, No. 61.
RCAHMS. 1928. The Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles. Edinburgh: HMSO, 157-8, No. 508.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

This site was included in Mackie's 2007 'The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700 BC - AD 500: Architecture and material culture'. See link below to HES Canmore record which includes the chapter on this site. <2> <3>

Finds in the NMS were acquired in 1915 from Countess Vincent Baillet de Latour. They include the amber necklace, glass beads, a strike-a-light, stone whorls, flint scrapers, the Roman terracotta miniature in the form of a bale of hay, a portion of a steatite armlet, fragments of Iron Age pottery and pebbles (Acc. No. GA 999-1019). Other finds are in the Skye & Lochalsh Archive Centre. <4>

Sources/Archives (37)



Grid reference Centred NG 2313 5044 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG25SW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish DUIRINISH

Finds (12)

  • BEAD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • NECKLACE (Roman to Early Medieval - 200 AD to 700 AD)
  • ARMLET (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ROTARY QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • STRIKE A LIGHT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SLAG (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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