MHG9739 - Fort or Monastery - An Tornaidh Bhuidhe


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • MONASTIC SETTLEMENT (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) PROMONTORY FORT (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Torran Buidhe (NAT). Fort (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6"map, Sutherland, 1st ed., (1873)

An Tornaidh Bhuidhe (NAT) Fort (NR) OS 6"map, (1964)

A large peninsular rock on which there are traces of ruins. There are also remains of wall and trench which cut off the rock from the land. At N end ground is slightly broken and some distance below the surface was found burnt bones, shells and charred wood. <1>

The remains of a promontory fort flanked by precipitous cliffs and approached along a ridge only two or three feet wide in places. The fort consists of a grassy plateau round edge which runs an earthen rampart or parapet. Down N face of cliff is a ledge on which there is a depression but there is no trace of a passage such as that at Dun Mhairtein (NC86NE 1). <2>

A cliff-castle. <3>

Occupying An Tornaidhe Bhuidhe, a cliff-girt peninsula approached from S by a restricted arete, is a defensive or protective earthwork enclosing summit area 47m N-S by 10m maximum transversely. Around rim of summit is a turf-covered bank, at its strongest protecting approach from S and along W side, where it is 0.4m high and spread to a width of 2m; it is less strong on E side and completely eroded on N and NW. A content of earth and small stones is exposed in the eroded bank. No entrance gap is evident. The interior is largely occupied by a series of irregularly-shaped platforms, probably indicatin sites of buildings. Down slope to NE is a small shelf, apparently natural, with a slight bank constructed around outer side. It may have been a look-out, perhaps later than main work.
These much eroded remains may be of a promontory fort as stated by the RCAHMS, but it appears more likely to be a Celtic monastic settlement based on (1) existence of what appear to be stances for buildings in interior, and (2) form of enclosing bank which appears protective in the manner of a 'vallum monasterii' rather than defensive as in rampart of an Iron Age fort.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (W D J) 3 May 1960 and (N K B) 28 July 1981.

The site is included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 8669 6617 (100m by 100m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC86NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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