Ancient Monuments

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Torr nam Fiann, dun and medieval settlement remains

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.5017 / 56°30'6"N

Longitude: -6.0006 / 6°0'2"W

OS Eastings: 153904

OS Northings: 741577

OS Grid: NM539415

Mapcode National: GBR CCKJ.Q6V

Mapcode Global: WGZDL.SVS2

Entry Name: Torr nam Fiann, dun and medieval settlement remains

Scheduled Date: 10 February 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10695

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun; Secular: dun (with post-prehistoric use)

Location: Kilninian and Kilmore

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a dun and medieval or later settlement, visible as upstanding remains. Duns are fortified settlement sites of Iron Age date (around 500 BC to AD 500). The settlement remains represent pre-improvement structures.

The dun is situated on a grass-covered rocky knoll, which forms the northwesternmost summit of Torr nam Fiann, at about 67m OD. The dun survives as an irregular band of grass-grown stony debris, which fringes the summit and defines a roughly circular area about 14m in diameter. No facing stones can be seen, but quarry scoops are present around almost the entire perimeter, indicating that large stones have been removed. The summit may be approached with relative ease up grassy slopes from all sides, and the position of the entrance is not apparent. No structural remains are visible on the level ground surface within the interior.

The remains of a deserted medieval or later settlement are situated on the terraces immediately below and E and W of the dun, at between 50-60m OD. A small turf-built shieling, about 5m in diameter and with walls up to 1m thick and 0.4m high, is present on the rocky shelf immediately below and E of the dun. A second shieling of similar form and dimensions is located on the terrace immediately below, together with other later settlement remains.

To the S of the lower sheiling are the remains of a rectilinear enclosure (depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition map 1881-82). This enclosure comprises an earth and turf bank, c.2m wide by 0.6m high, built against the eastern side of the steep slope SE of the dun. The enclosure defines an internal area some 29m N-S by 18m E-W.

The footings of three turf-built structures lie to the E and NE of the enclosure. The southerly two structures are aligned ENE-WSW and measure c.6m by 4m and 7m by 3.5m, defined by low turf walls. To the N of this group are the remains of a larger trapezoidal structure, orientated E-W and measuring about 14m by 6m (W end) and 3.5m (E end). Another turf-built structure is present to the NW, aligned E-W and measuring c.10m by 5m. Two further turf-built structures are present below and NW of the dun. These are aligned NW-SE and measure c.7m by 5.5m and 11m by 6m respectively; the latter has an adjacent turf-built enclosure measuring about 14m by 10m. Finally, the turf footings of a further rectilinear structure, measuring c.7m by 5m, are present some 30m WSW of the dun; and a turf-built enclosure measuring c.10m by 9m lies some 70m SW of the dun.

Small areas of rig-and-furrow cultivation are present between the structures E of the knoll and on its summit, N and S of the dun.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is rectilinear in shape, with maximum dimensions of 134m N-S by 140m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monuments are of national importance because of the potential of the dun to contribute to an understanding of later prehistoric defended settlement and economy. The dun's importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date. The remains of the deserted settlment offer the potential to provide information on domestic settlement and economy for the medieval or later period. Together the remains indicate a complex and long-lived history of settlement and activity on and around this knoll.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM54SW 6.

Photographic References:

OS 1972 Ref: A77667.

CPE/SCOT/UK 250 frames 4434, 4435, 1/8/1947 1:10,000, B670.

58/RAF/2875 framesF22:0389-0391, 21/5/1959, 1:10,000 B471.

OS/72/080 frames 420-421, 22/4/1972, 1:7,500



Map References:

Ordanance Survey 1881-2 First edition map (Argyllshire) 25 inches to 1 mile.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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