Ancient Monuments

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Dun Carloway, broch

A Scheduled Monument in Sgir'Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 58.2696 / 58°16'10"N

Longitude: -6.794 / 6°47'38"W

OS Eastings: 119002

OS Northings: 941231

OS Grid: NB190412

Mapcode National: GBR 96MW.0VQ

Mapcode Global: WGX1F.LDZR

Entry Name: Dun Carloway, broch

Scheduled Date: 18 August 1882

Last Amended: 23 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90110

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Uig

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Sgir'Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The guardianship monument at Dun Carloway comprises a later prehistoric broch which is situated in common grazings on a prominent knoll. The monument was scheduled in 1921, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains. The present rescheduling rectifies this.

The broch stands in part almost 9m high, close to its original height. On plan it is roughly circular, measuring 14.3m externally and 7.4m internally, with walls varying in thickness from 2.9-3.8m. The collapse of part of its battered wall provides a cross-section showing the typical double-skinned wall with two tiers of internal galleries formed by flat slabs, which also serve to tie the wall together. There are four chambers, one of which leads into the stairs.

At ground level the wall is pierced by a narrow entrance, provided with checks for a wooden door-frame. A modern gate is located here to keep grazing animals out of the interior of the broch. At this level the wall is part-solid, and part-hollow; but about 2m above ground level the continuous galleries begin. On the inside face of the wall at the level of the lower gallery is a stone ledge or scarcement, which may have supported either a raised floor or the edge of a roof.

Chamber A was excavated in 1972, necessitate by consolidation work on the NE section of the broch which had commenced in 1971 The entrance passage was not excavated. Evidence was found for an earlier excavation in the chamber. The natural subsoil was peat which lay directly on natural rock. Three hearths, peat ash, a clay-lined pit, hundreds of fragments of pottery, one quern stone and some limpet shells were found. It seems that that sometime between AD 400 and 700 the hearths may have been used for the firing of pots.

In the 17th century the broch is said to have been used as a stronghold by members of the Morison Clan when it was beseiged by the Macaulays of Uig, with whom they were feuding. The implication is that the wall of the broch were relatively complete until this date. As late as the 1870s 'there was still a respectable looking family living in the ground flat of the broch'.

The area to be scheduled is a circle 30m in diameter centred on the centre of the broch, to include the broch and an area around in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Dun Carloway
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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