MHG5823 - Broch - Dun Flashader


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

(NG 3511 5349) Dun Flashader (NR)
OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Dun Flashader is a very dilapidated broch built on the summit of a flat-topped rocky eminence surrounded by crags about 25' in height. The inner wall of the broch shows an average height of from 3' - 5', but it is almost hidden by tumbled stones. The outer ring of the wall is traceable only on the N where the foundation stones remain in situ. The internal diameter is 34'9", and the wall at the foundation is 12'3" thick. Of the entrance passage on the W, only the N wall is traceable. In the thickness of the wall on the left hand side of the entrance there is a ruined guard-chamber or gallery 3'5" in width, while to the NE there are indications of another cell or gallery in the wall. There is the suggestion of the right wall of the entrance to this chamber still in position.
RCAHMS 1928, visited 1915; A Graham 1949.

Dun Flashader, a broch, is as described by the RCAHMS except for the following omissions:
(i) E of the broch on the top of the rocky eminence there is a horse-shoe shaped feature, possibly a wall which has collapsed but which was at least 3.0m in width and contains traces of what appears to be a collapsed gallery 0.8m wide. There is a gap to the SE, possibly an entrance, which leads into a gully in the outcrop. Within the feature is a ruined two-cell shieling hut.
(ii) To the S and W of the broch are two ruined hut circles measuring 8.0m and 6.5m in internal diameter.
Visited by OS (A C) 17 May 1961.

Dun Flashader, a broch, generally as described by RCAHMS and planned by previous OS field surveyor. The entrance door-check can be seen 1.3m along the passage from the outer wall face and a bar-hole is visible on the N side. The structure to the S is a guard chamber and not a gallery. The entrance to the opposing cell or gallery is 0.9m wide.
The feature to the E of the broch is part of a galleried wall of which a few stones of the inner face and both faces of the gallery are visible through the turf. There are also traces of walling around the S and SW rim of the eminence. Without doubt these walls are part of an earlier/ structure robbed to build the broch, but insufficient remains to assess its size and plan.
Of the alleged hut circles 'A' and 'B' on plan, 'A' is a sub-circular platform, c. 7.0m in diameter, edged by traces of a wall. Its classification is uncertain, but it does not appear to be a hut. 'B' is a roughly circular hollow, c. 8.0m in diameter, edged in the E arc by the remains of a substantial wall. It is not a hut and its purpose is uncertain.
Visited by OS (R L) 5 October 1971.

The remains of this structure stand on the summit of a flat topped rocky eminence c 7.6m high. This broch is very dilapidated and its walls survive no more than 1.5m high. There are traces of an outer wall enclosing the rock outcrop with a small entrance on its E side.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 28 February 1997.

Dun Flashader, NG35SE0003
Brochs were the defended homesteads of local chieftains in the Later Iron Age and are common in the northern and western Highlands. Dun Flashader is a very badly ruined example standing on a flat-topped rock overlooking Loch Greshornish in northwest Skye. Unusually for a broch, it is not in an open position, but surrounded by high crags. (57)
The circular shape of Dun Flashader is still clearly visible, in spite of its dilapidated state, which must be largely due to its close proximity of the modern settlement of Kildonan. There is one cell guarding the entrance passage and the start of a gallery survives in the wall opposite the entrance. (52)
Around the outside of the broch are a number of features, which are far harder to interpret. Some, at least, seem to indicate that the broch has been built out of an earlier structure. Others are the remains of later shieling huts. (42)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
RCAHMS. 1928. The Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles. Edinburgh: HMSO, 160, No. 513.
[the large mound outside the entrance – could it be a midden?]
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

Site visited and photographed by Mr & Mrs M McGuire, 7/10/03. The Highland Archaeology Challenge. See assoc. docs. File and CD for Photographic Record.
J Aikten: 21/1/03

NG/3511 5349
This very dilapidated probable broch in Duirinish, Skye, stands about 66m (200 ft) above the sea on a flat-topped rocky eminence surrounded by crags about 8.3m (25 ft) high (visited 24/4/63). It dominates a fertile patch of land on which the village of Flashader stands and lies between the village and the sea. The situation suggests that a view of the sea was considered desirable when the broch was built as there are equally suitable elevations further inland.
The structure is badly ruined and the only parts of the outer face visible are on the north and west arcs (with a short length on the south [4]), where the foundation stones remain. The north wall of the entrance passage is traceable on the west-south-west, with a possible slab door-check near the present outer end and another similar upright slab directly opposite it [4]. There is a ruined cell or gallery, 1.02m (3 ft 5in) wide, in the wall nearby and to the right of the passage; one lintel over the cell can be seen in situ at the end furthest from the entrance but whether this is a guard cell or not cannot now be determined [4].
The interior wallface stands from 90cm - 1.5m high (3 - 5 ft) and was mainly hidden by rubble in 1963; in 1985 it was visible most of the way round [4]. On the north-east, at about 1 o'clock [4, plan], are signs of another cell or gallery in the wall with traces of the right side of a door into it; this door is 1.28m (4 ft 4in) deep. The curved west end of the gallery can be seen and it is possible that this is the end of the stair-foot guard cell and that the intra-mural stair is to the right of the doorway [4].
There are two ruined hut circles to the south and west of the broch, and there is part of what seems to be a separate galleried wall about 13m to its north-east [1]. This feature is shown on Swanson's plan where it appears to be part of a long mound or forework; however the chronological relationship of this feature to the broch has to remain uncertain [4, plan].
Dimensions: external diameter about 17.4m (58 ft), internal diameter 10.35m (34 ft 6 in), wall 3.68m (12 ft 3 in) thick: the wall proportion is therefore c. 42.5%. Swanson gives the internal diameter as 10.6m north/ south and 10.8m east/west, and the wall thickness as from 3.8-4.0m [4]. The wall proportion would then be about 48%.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NG 35 SE 3: 2. RCAHMS 1928, 160, no. 513: 3. MacSween 1984-85, 43, no. 15 and fig. 15: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 833-34 and plan. <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 (10)



Grid reference Centred NG 3512 5351 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG35SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish DUIRINISH

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