Ancient Monuments

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Dunadd,fort,boar carving,ogam inscription and cupmarkings

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0858 / 56°5'8"N

Longitude: -5.4783 / 5°28'42"W

OS Eastings: 183685

OS Northings: 693560

OS Grid: NR836935

Mapcode National: GBR DDVM.PDD

Mapcode Global: WH0J3.T9GF

Entry Name: Dunadd,fort,boar carving,ogam inscription and cupmarkings

Scheduled Date: 31 May 1994

Last Amended: 14 June 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90108

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: sculptured stone (not ascribed to a more specific type); Prehistoric dome

Location: Glassary

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a high-status Early Historic fort and associated carvings, situated on an isolated rocky massif above the boggy flats of Moine Mhor, adjacent to the River Add.

The natural stepped topography of the massif has been utilised to create a number of terraced enclosures. Approached from a monumental rock cleft in the the SE, the lower terraces are the largest; there is a well at their N end, several rectangular foundations and a small cell in the W angle of the wall. To the E, beyond this main stone wall, is a line of boulders filling gaps between the rocky ridges.

To the E of the summit is an enclosure (22m by 11m) which includes within it a rock-cut basin, an ogam inscription, a boar carving and a sunken footprint (likely to be associated with inauguration rites). The enclosure on the summit, which in its latest phase is pear-shaped (30m by 13m), is pre-dated by what may be the earliest phase of construction of the fort.

There is no evidence for fort activity pre-dating the first millennium AD. Finds from the site are numerous, particularly the evidence for fine metalworking: there are also suggestions that some of the inhabitants were literate and/or Christian. Imported pottery from Gaul and Germanic glass vessels have also been identified. Probable cupmarkings of prehistoric date have been recognised at various points outside the fort on the S and E; there is also a ruinous building of more recent date on level ground 20m to the S of the fort.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures up to 280m from WSW to ENE by up to 210m, to include the fort, carvings and an area around in which associated remains may survive, as marked in red on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents the well-preserved remains of what was probably the capital of the early Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, and was certainly a major political stronghold. Limited small-scale excavation has already demonstrated the archaeological richness of this site and its potential to provide information about the nature and organisation of Early Historic society, including the relationship between the Scots and their neighbours, particularly the Picts.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NR 89 SW 1.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Dunadd Hill Fort
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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