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Comar Wood, dun 830m south west of Comar Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.3388 / 57°20'19"N

Longitude: -4.7844 / 4°47'3"W

OS Eastings: 232513

OS Northings: 831017

OS Grid: NH325310

Mapcode National: GBR G9KB.37M

Mapcode Global: WH2DJ.GSXV

Entry Name: Comar Wood, dun 830m SW of Comar Lodge

Scheduled Date: 6 December 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13578

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun

Location: Kilmorack/Kilmorack

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument is an enclosed dun, a form of monumental roundhouse, probably dating to the Iron Age (between 600 BC and AD 400). It is visible as the remains of a substantial stone-built structure set within a roughly circular stone enclosure. Two later buildings, of probable late medieval or post-medieval date, are built into the southeast side of the dun, and a further two against the outer enclosure wall. The monument lies on a slight terrace on the hillside overlooking Strathglass, at about 160m above sea level.

The outer enclosure, which is best preserved on the west side of the site, is roughly circular on plan. It measures around 55m in diameter within stone walls standing 0.7-1.2m high, broken by an entrance gap on the west. The dun is centrally placed within this enclosure and is almost circular on plan, measuring about 22m east-west by 24m north-south externally. The main dun wall measures around 4m in width and survives to a maximum of 1.2m in height; survey and excavation indicate the original wall height is unlikely to have exceeded 1.6m. It is broken by an entrance to the west, slightly off-set from that within the outer enclosure. Limited excavation of the site has demonstrated that the dun was of stone and timber construction, with a post-ring supporting the roof and an elaborate wooden porch and gateway structure. A substantial hearth and burnt deposits were uncovered within the centre of the dun, while a possible blocked entrance and intra-mural cell were identified within the east and north walls respectively. Evidence for structural failure and repair within the structure of the dun was also identified. The two late medieval or post-medieval buildings built into the structure of the dun are rectilinear in form, while those abutting the outer enclosure are sub-rectangular and sub-circular respectively.

The scheduled area is circular on plan, measuring 80m in diameter, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Iron Age society and the construction, use and development of settlement in the north of Scotland. It is a good example of an enclosed dun that retains its field characteristics, with proven potential for the survival of archaeological deposits within, beneath and around the upstanding remains. As a well-preserved example of a dun, the monument can significantly expand our understanding of domestic buildings, agriculture and economy. The monument's importance is enhanced by its unusual form and its association with a wider cluster of later prehistoric remains. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character and development of Iron Age defended settlements, as well as society and economy during this period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 314324 (accessed on 17/03/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record reference is MHG29870 (accessed on 17/03/2016).

Birch, S. 2014 Kilmorack, Comar Wood Dun, Evaluation and survey, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New, vol. 14, 2013. Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England.

Birch, S., Fraser, L. and Peteranna, M. 2014. Comar Wood Dun: Archaeological Evaluation and Measured Survey: Cannich, Strathglass, Scotland: Data Structure Report. Ross & Cromarty Archaeological Services and West Coast Archaeological Services.

RCAHMS. 1942-3 Emergency Survey of archaeological monuments in military training areas, 1981, 2v. Typescripts. Page(s): TS 53, MS 141.

Ritchie, Taylor and Duff, M, B and B. 2010 Comar Wood, Highland (Kilmorack parish), survey , Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New, vol. 11, 2010. Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England.

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/314324/


HER/SMR Reference

MHG55867

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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