MHG5355 - Dun Telve Broch - Glenelg, Lochalsh


A solid-based broch, one of two well preserved examples in Glenelg, consisting of five or possibly six levels which possibly stood up to an approximate 40-46 foot in height of which approximately one quarter remains substantially intact. It had an intra-mural staircase and passageway, an entrance passage with guard cell and a central court with lintels and scarcements.

Type and Period (1)

  • BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NG81NW 7 8290 1725.

(NG 8290 1725) Dun (OE) (In Ruins supposed Pictish Tower)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1902)

'Dun Telve' A well-preserved broch excavated 1914 for the Office of Works. The usual appartenances of a broch are seen here to advantage, including galleries and two scarcements. (A O Curle 1916; R W Feachem 1963) <1> <2>

Mackie, on the 1914 excavations: 'The broch was cleared out in 1914 by H.M. Office of Works and it does not appear that the work was supervised by anyone with archaeological knowledge. Alexander Curle simply notes that "It remains to acknowledge my indebtedness to H.M. Office of Works for enabling me to describe the broch by rendering me every assistance in the shape of plans and photographs." It seems that, as part of the process of stabilising the broch and preparing it for display, the structure was simply cleared of debris that filled it by the Office's workmen who kept aside any interesting relics that they noticed while digging. No accounts of anything uncovered inside the broch were published.' Finds from these excavations include: two fragments of iron slag; a small bronze ring measuring 3.2cm (1.25 in) in diameter; stone artifacts including a steatite whorl, four plain whorls, a perforated disc, three handled cups, three fragments of two round dishes, a broken whetstone, a rectangular flat sharpening stone, two hammerstones, seven complete and two fragmentary rotary querns; nine sherds of pottery including five body parts, two rim sherds and a base sherd and a coarse, dark grey wheel-made jar subequently diagnosed as Roman and probably 2nd century date. <46>

Finds (in the NMAS included rotary querns, handled stone cups, spindle whorls etc. (A O Curle 1916; A Young 1964)
A O Curle 1916; R W Feachem 1963; A Young 1964. <1> <2> <3>

As described and planned by Curle. Under guardianship.
Surveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (R L) 4 October 1966.

Finds from this site include a hitherto unpublished fragment of a coarse, dark-grey, Roman jar (possibly second century) now in NMAS.
A S Robertson 1970. <4>

The site was visited and photographed by a member of the Highland Council in 1976. <5> <6>

The site was visited and photographed by a member of the Highland Council in 1980-1990. <7>

The site was mentioned by Close-Brooks in 1986. <8>

The broch was visited and photographed by P R Campbell and R B Gourlay on the 1st of July 1987. <9> <10> <11> <12> <13> <14> <15> <16> <17> <18> <19>

The site was visited and photographed by J Wood on the 19th of September 1995. <20> <21> <22> <23> <24> <25> <26> <27> <28>

The site was revisited and photographed again by a member of the Highland Council in 2000. <29> <30> <31> <32> <33> <34> <35> <36> <37> <38> <39> <40> <41> <42>

The site was photographed at other times, although the date was unknown. <43>

The site was photograped at another time, however the slides of both these occasions were missing. <44> <45>

Described by Mackie as: 'Five distinct levels with a part of a sixth are preserved in this building. At present the broch stands to a height of 10.22m (33.5 ft) but for only about a quarter of its circumference running clockwise from the entrance (from 6-10 o'clock). Inside this high wall, on top of the solid base some 1.83m (6 ft) high, are four complete mural galleries with part of a fifth on top, and an inner face of this part of an upper scarcement is preserved 9.00m (29.5 ft) above the floor.' See HES Canmore link below for Mackie's full description. <46>

The NMS catalogue records that finds from this site were acquired in 1914 from Lady Scott, per H.M. Office of Works. Accessioned under Nos.: GA 979-997. <1>

Sources/Archives (47)



Grid reference Centred NG 8291 1725 (16m by 17m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG81NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Unitary Authority HIGHLAND
Civil Parish GLENELG

Finds (11)

  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • LAMP (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • ROTARY QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SLAG (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • RING (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SHERD (Roman - 79 AD to 409 AD)
  • DISC (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • VESSEL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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