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Rahoy, dun 660m WNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Fort William and Ardnamurchan, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.6398 / 56°38'23"N

Longitude: -5.8618 / 5°51'42"W

OS Eastings: 163301

OS Northings: 756442

OS Grid: NM633564

Mapcode National: GBR CCX5.7RV

Mapcode Global: WGZD2.XCTQ

Entry Name: Rahoy, dun 660m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 23 June 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7810

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun

Location: Morvern

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Fort William and Ardnamurchan

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises a vitrified dun of prehistoric date.

The monument lies on the summit of Torr an Fhamhair at around 50m OD. It comprises a sub-circular dun measuring approximately 22m in diameter, defined by a partially vitrified wall measuring about 3m in thickness. The wall stands to a maximum height of about 1.5m internally and about 3m externally, with stretches of vitrified material visible, particularly on the N side of the exterior.

The site was partially excavated by Professor Childe in 1936 and 1937 with the aid of 'dynamite and a sledgehammer'. Sections cut through the wall revealed cavities which would have contained timber beams within sections of vitrified wall material. The interior of the dun was partly excavated down to bedrock level.

At the centre of the interior there was a paved area measuring about 4m across, at the centre of which there was a rectangular stone hearth. Some 3m to the E of the hearth, beneath the floor, was a chamber measuring about 1.5m in length and about 0.6m in depth, roofed by large stone slabs. The position of the dun entrance was not established.

Duns are fortified settlement sites of Iron Age date. Vitrification occurs when a timber-laced rampart is set on fire, producing temperatures high enough to fuse some of the rocks. It is no longer generally believed to be a deliberate constructional technique.

The area proposed for scheduling is circular with a diameter of about 45m, to include the dun, its interior and a small area outside it in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and economy. It has added curiosity value as the last known site in Britain to be archaeologically excavated with the aid of dynamite. Despite this drastic intervention, the site still retains considerable archaeological potential, since only a small part of it was fully excavated.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NM 65 NW 2.

Bibliography:

Childe, V. G. and Thorneycroft, W. (1938) 'The vitrified fort at Rahoy, Morvern, Argyll', in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume 72.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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