MHG9142 - Fort - Dun Canna


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Type and Period (1)

  • FORT (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

NC10SW 1 1116 0080.
Dun Canna (NAT) Fort (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1971)

The fort of Dun Canna is situated on promontory, cliffs along sides rising to 40' above high water mark. The promontory is connected to mainland, on which there is an annexe, by a neck of land 37' wide.
The fort is roughly rectangular and measures 140' x 30' within a single massive dry-stone wall of which the debris varies from 10-18' thick. NW side has almost completely disappeared and entrance was presumably at a gap 6'6" wide in NE end. There are no signs of any structures in interior.
The annexe, of irregular shape, measures c140' x 95', within a single massive dry-stone wall that in part at least was 12' -14' thick. In this area debris of wall is 40' thick and rises to a height of 12' above interior. A narrow gap in NE corner, opposite foundations of a late cottage, is obviously intrusive, and original entrance is situated in a re-entrant angle of the wall in N side at head of an easy approach. In exposed wall face, on S side of entrance, there is a rebate resembling check of a door. There may have been a wall between annexe and neck of land, with a narrow gap for entrance, but N side of the neck was defended by a wall while the S side may have been similarly defended. The interior of annexe is featureless.
C Calder and K Steer 1951. <1>

The fort was scheduled in 1964.

"Dun Canna" - A fort generally as described and planned by Calder and Steer. (1951)
The westerly enclosure measures 43m by 13m within a partly overgrown wall reduced by quarrying and slip on NW to a thin scatter of debris. Elsewhere, although no facing stones are visible, spread of rubble would suggest a wall thickness of between 3m and 5m. The entrance planned by Calder and Steer (1951) is suspect. Here tumbled wall is overgrown by a band of turf and there is no hollow through it as one might expect. The entrance, however, is not evident elsewhere. The annexe wall also has almost been destroyed by slip and quarrying on NW. Elsewhere the massive band of rubble (up to 10m wide) suggests a wall of greater proportions than that of the westerly enclosure, but, although it may have been higher, it seems to have been of same thickness. The outer and inner faces are frequently visible in rubble (inner face to a height of 1.2m) giving a wall thickness in NE of 2.8m, increasing to 4.3m half-way along E side and then decreasing again to 3.5m at SE corner. This increase in thickness is due to the wall crossing a hollow where its extra height would demand a more solid base. There is no trace of rebate in S side of entrance seen by Calder and Steer. (1951) The better state of preservation of annexe wall compared to wall of the W enclosure suggests it may be later.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J M) 10 July 1974; C Calder and K Steer 1951.

Lochbroom Local Plan, April 1999: P12/3.22. Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
J Aitken : 11/06/01.

The site was visited and photographed by Andrew Puls of Highland Council on the 23rd of April 2008. <2>

Ths site is included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britian and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <3>

As part of Historic Environment Scotland's North West Cairns Project, it was proposed that the entry in the schedule be updated and that the scheduled area be enlarged. The site was visited by HES on 16/04/2018. <4>

The proposed scheduling changes by Historic Environment Scotland came into effect on 23/07/2018. <5> <6>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NC 1117 0082 (146m by 105m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC10SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish LOCHBROOM

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