MHG487 - Dun - Rahoy


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • DUN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

A vitrified dun. Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (N K B) 16 June 1970.

Dun (NR) (remains of)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

Dun, Rahoy: This dun stands on the summit of Torr an Fhamhair, a small steep-sided hill situated 700m W of Rahoy, overlooking the N side of Loch Teacuis from a height of 45m OD. Excavations were carried out here in 1936 and 1937 by V G Childe and W Thorneycroft, and the following description and plan are based largely on the published report (Childe and Thorneycroft 1938).
In spite of the obvious disturbance caused by the excavations, the dun still appears much as it did before they took place. The grass-grown bank that largely conceals the wall is about 7m thick at the base and stands to a maximum height of 1.5m internally and 3.2m externally, while the enclosed area is about 12m in diameter. Sections cut through the wall, with the help of 'dynamite and a sledgehammer', revealed a mass of vitrified stones in the heart of the core material, and considerable expanses of vitrifaction have been left exposed round the outer perimeter, the most impressive portion being on the N side. Cavities found within the vitrified material were recognised as the slots that had contained wooden beams, up to 150mm thick, disposed both radially and parallel to the line of the wall, indicating that it had been timber-laced. Although no convincing stretches of either inner or outer facing-stones were found in position, there was evidence that the wall had originally been faced on both sides, and that it had measured at least 3m, and possibly as much as 3.7m, in thickness. The position of the entrance was not established. Within the interior the surface of the natural rock was so uneven that it had been necessary to quarry away several projecting bosses ant to fill the hollows with rubble; the resulting surface had then been covered with timbers, which in turn supported an earthen floor. In the middle of the interior there was a paved area measuring about 4.3m across, with a rectangular stone hearth standing in the centre. Some 3m E of the hearth, and underneath the floor, there was an irregular chamber measuring 1.5m in length, from 0.3m to 1.5m in breadth, and 0.6m in depth, and roofed by heavy paving- stones; its function is unknown, but it may have served as a cellar or oven. Childe believed that the whole of the interior had been roofed with turf carried on rafters springing from the dun wall and having their inner ends supported by posts set round the hearth; the stumps of two posts, which may have served this purpose, were found near the W edge of the central paved area.
The whole of the interior was cleared down to the natural rock surface, but yielded only a few relics (which are now in the NMAS - Acc Nos: HH 419-23). These comprised a flint scraper; two broken saddle querns; a looped and socketed iron axehead; part of a bronze brooch of La Tene Ic type; and a number of burnt animal bones. There was no pottery. Some indication of the date of the dun is provided by the axehead and the brooch, both of which are likely to belong to the 3rd century BC.
V G Childe and W Thorneycroft 1938; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1980.

A vitrified dun.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (N K B) 16 June 1970.

This dun was recorded during a pre-afforestation survey on the Rahoy Estate. It measures roughly 12m in diameter within a turf- and bracken-covered bank up to 0.7m in width and 1.5m in height. The margins of the site are inundated with bracken and seedlings of birch and ash are also present.
C Lowe and J Wordsworth (Headland Archaeology) 25 May 1999; NMRS MS 899/147, no.17

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. <1>

The NMS catalogue lists a scraper, bow brooch and specimen of vitrification produced experimentally. Acc. Nos. HH 419, HH 420 and HH 423. <2>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NM 6329 5643 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM65NW
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (5)

  • SADDLE QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • BOW BROOCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • AXEHEAD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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