Ancient Monuments

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Dun Othail,fort and chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Loch a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 58.3826 / 58°22'57"N

Longitude: -6.206 / 6°12'21"W

OS Eastings: 154236

OS Northings: 951484

OS Grid: NB542514

Mapcode National: GBR C62K.S5H

Mapcode Global: WGY28.MKZP

Entry Name: Dun Othail,fort and chapel

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5455

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: open air preaching place; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun

Location: Barvas

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Loch a Tuath

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument, known as Dun Othail consists of the footings of a small drystone building of early Medieval date situated on a naturally well defended rock stack which is split from the mainland by a perpendicular ravine. The rock, rising 60m above sea level, is only accessible from the SE. There is a rough boulder wall along the SW edge of the cliff at the SE base of the rock where the land is a relatively level shelf of turf and rock outcrop.

The path is dangerous and only one person at a time may approach. The footings of the building are situated further to the NE, completely hidden from the landward side. The final approach to the building is somewhat precarious. The simple, subrectangular building is built on a small mound about 10m above sea level. It measures 5.18m SW-NE by 3.35m transversely over walls 0.6- 0.8m thick and 0.3m high.

The walls are made of stones and covered with turf, part of the NW wall utilising the natural rock face. The position of the entrance is not apparent. The area to be scheduled is irregular and measures a maximum of 60m SW-NE by 45m transversely to include the defensive site and an area outwith it which may contain evidence of occupation, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the site of isolated human habitation from late prehistoric to Medieval times. The precise nature and chronology of the occupation may be accessible through a combination of historical research and archaeological excavation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NB 55 SW 1.


Mackenzie, W. C. (1967) 'Tales and traditions of the Lews'.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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