Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Torr a' Chaisteil, dun

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

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3223 / 56°19'20"N

Longitude: -6.2988 / 6°17'55"W

OS Eastings: 134316

OS Northings: 722739

OS Grid: NM343227

Mapcode National: GBR BDT0.CNB

Mapcode Global: WGYD9.6CV2

Entry Name: Torr a' Chaisteil, dun

Scheduled Date: 29 October 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10591

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun

Location: Kilfinichen and Kilvickeon

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises a dun and outwork, visible as upstanding remains. Duns are fortified settlement sites of Iron Age date (around 500 BC to AD 500).

The monument lies some 650m SW of Ardfenaig House and occupies the summit of a tree-covered hill at about 40m OD. The immediate approach to the dun from the NE is over gently sloping ground, but on all other sides sheer rock-faces or steep rock-studded slopes, increasing in height towards the W, afford strong natural protection.

The dun measures about 21.5m by 15m, within a drystone wall composed almost entirely of granite boulders. The wall survives as a thick band of core material in which several long stretches of the outer face and a few inner facing-stones can be seen in situ. The best preserved sector is on the NW, where the outer face stands 1.1m high in four courses.

The average wall thickness appears to have been about 3.3m. The position of the entrance is uncertain, but it probably lay on the E, where there is less wall debris. Much of the W half of the interior is occupied by a rock outcrop, and the E half contains the ruined foundations of two sub-rectangular buildings of no great age.

An outwork springs from the dun wall on the N. This was drawn across the line of easiest approach and continued from there along the crest of a low rock-face to the SE of the dun. Practically the entire line of the outer face can still be traced, but no inner facing-stones are apparent and there is only a slight scatter of core material.

Many of the stones of the outer face are of a considerable size (the largest measures 1.6m by 1.1m by 0.6m), which may have discouraged stone-robbing. There is an entrance-way 0.8m wide on the ENE.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material is likely to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 57m N-S by 68m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of later prehistoric defended settlement and economy. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NM32SW 3.

References:

County Council of Argyll (1914) LIST OF ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTY OF ARGYLL, [s.l.], 2.

Cregeen E R (1958) 'Ardfenaig, Bunessan, Mull', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 8.

RCAHMS (1980a) ARGYLL: AN INVENTORY OF THE MONUMENTS VOLUME 3: MULL, TIREE, COLL AND NORTHERN ARGYLL (EXCLUDING THE EARLY MEDIEVAL AND LATER MONUMENTS OF IONA), Edinburgh: HMSO, 117, No. 228.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.