Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Dun a'Chaolais,broch,Vatersay

A Scheduled Monument in Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 56.9416 / 56°56'29"N

Longitude: -7.5462 / 7°32'46"W

OS Eastings: 62852

OS Northings: 797066

OS Grid: NL628970

Mapcode National: GBR 7BRC.QCF

Mapcode Global: WGV56.1STC

Entry Name: Dun a'Chaolais,broch,Vatersay

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1991

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5205

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch; Secular: farmstead

Location: Barra

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of a broch, dating to the middle Iron Age (c. 200BC-c. 200AD) together with a small enclosure and a series of buildings, also in ruins, associated with a later agricultural settlement. The broch is 16m in overall diameter, with walls 4m thick. Traces of a gallery within the thickness of the wall can be seen. The entrance was on the NE side, and was flanked by small side chambers or "guard cells".

The remains of the broch stand up to 2.5m above the original floor level. Attached to the NW side of the broch

is a low turf-covered enclosure containing a rectangular building footing 3.5m by 2m, while to the S and SE of the broch a similar building footing, plus those of at least four shielings, survive.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, approximately triangular in plan, with maximum dimensions of 85m N-S by 80m E-W, to include the broch, the various later structures and an area of formerly cultivated land within which evidence for past agriculture may survive, all as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance as one of the best-preserved unexcavated brochs in the region, and may contain information, accessible to excavation, concerning defensive and domestic architecture, domestic and agricultural economy, and past environment. This importance is enhanced by the strong possibility that later agricultural remains around the broch may represent the last evidence of a continuous farming use stretching back to the Iron Age, and once again capable of investigation. The monument possesses an exceptional potential to enhance our understanding of all aspects of Iron Age society.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NL 69 NW 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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