Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castle Dounie, dun, Knapdale

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0797 / 56°4'46"N

Longitude: -5.5892 / 5°35'21"W

OS Eastings: 176754

OS Northings: 693235

OS Grid: NR767932

Mapcode National: GBR DDLN.0MF

Mapcode Global: WH0J2.3GQ3

Entry Name: Castle Dounie, dun, Knapdale

Scheduled Date: 12 December 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10091

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun

Location: North Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a later prehistoric dun or defensive dwelling, sited on a high crag on the NW coast of Knapdale, overlooking the NE end of the Sound of Jura and the Gulf of Corryvreckan.

The dun is an irregular D-shape in plan, with a drystone wall enclosing an area 18m by 14m. The wall varies in height and thickness and, where best preserved, on the WSW, it stands to a height of 2.6m. Wall thickness varies from 3.8m to 1.6m. The entrance is on the NE side and is very well-preserved, showing evidence of more than one phase of use.

The entrance was originally 2.1m in width, but a short stretch of walling has been added on the W side to narrow it down to 1m. An additional skin of walling was added to the E wall, which was used in the formation of intra-mural chambers, one of which still shows signs of having had a corbelled roof. The same chamber also has a small aumbry or cupboard in its rear wall.

The site has commanding views over the Sound of Jura and the seaward approaches to the Add estuary and the hillfort of Dunadd. On its landward side the crag forms natural terraces, with level areas which may have been used for cultivation or occupation.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan, with maximum dimensions of 77m NE-SW by 71m NW-SE, to include the dun, the terraces immediately E of the dun and an area around in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved later prehistoric settlement site which has the potential to provide important information about defensive and domestic architecture and contemporary economy and land-use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NR 79 SE 13.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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