Ancient Monuments

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Dun Scolpaig, dun (site of) and tower

A Scheduled Monument in Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 57.6461 / 57°38'45"N

Longitude: -7.4815 / 7°28'53"W

OS Eastings: 73105

OS Northings: 875027

OS Grid: NF731750

Mapcode National: GBR 78XJ.40B

Mapcode Global: WGV1Y.12NR

Entry Name: Dun Scolpaig, dun (site of) and tower

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7640

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun; Secular: folly

Location: North Uist

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Beinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of the site of a dun, represented today by a circular island in Loch Scolpaig, formed with material from the demolished structure around 1830 (and certainly before 1837), when Dr Alexander Macleod erected a folly in its place as a means of providing employment for local people. According to tradition, the dun had been occupied in medieval times by Donald Herroch, a descendant of one of the lords of the Isles.

The folly stands at the centre of the island. It is octagonal in plan, with two stages defined by string courses, topped by crenellations. The ground floor has a south-facing doorway and an opening in each of the other three alternate faces, while the upper stage has an opening in each face. The door and openings all have pointed heads. The building is now a roofless shell.

The area to be scheduled is circular, 33.5m in diameter, and includes the tower, the island and an area below water extending 3m out from the edge of the island, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents the site of a later prehistoric/early medieval dun, which because of the circumstances of its destruction is likely to retain significant structural and cultural remains below ground (and below water), which is thus available for further investigation and study through archaeological excavation.

As such it has the potential to shed further light on the material culture and society of Scotland in the later prehistoric and medieval periods. The monument's importance is further enhanced by the erection on it of an early 19th-century folly, which although of only minor architectural interest in itself, contributes to an understanding of the social history of the period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



NRHE records the monument as NF77NW6

Beveridge, E (1911) North Uist: its archaeology and topography, with notes upon the early history of the Outer Hebrides, Edinburgh, 193.

NSA (1837) XIV, 170-71.

RCAHMS (1928) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, Edinburgh, 97, No. 322.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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