Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC4309: Dunaverty Castle  

(Sound of Sanda; Dunaverty Bay; Brunerican Bay; Mull of Kintyre)

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

HER:  The West of Scotland Archaeology Service 2894

NMR:  NR 60 NE 4 (38302)

SM:  3041

NGR:  NR 6881 0749

X:  168810  Y:  607499  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Nothing can be seen of what is assumed to have been an early medieval fortification on the site of the Dunaverty Castle, which stand on a precipitous headland flanking the E side of Dunaverty Bay. The remains of the castle comprise traces of mortared masonry on the edge of the level summit area, which measures no more than 18m from ENE to WSW by 9m transversely, a rough rock-cut staircase providing access to the summit on the ENE, and fragments of a curtain wall extending along a terrace commanding the neck of the craggy promontory on the N and blocking access elsewhere. While any earlier fortification may simply have occupied the summit, it may equally have followed the line of the curtain wall on the N, thus cutting off an area measuring about 58m in length from N to S by 28m in breadth (0.12ha).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Unconfirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Unconfirmed

Location

X:  -628328  Y:  7421708  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -5.644368  Latitude:  55.307151  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Argyll & Bute

Historic County:   Argyll

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Southend

Condition

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Woodland:  
Commercial Forestry Plantation:  
Parkland:  
Pasture (Grazing):  
Arable:  
Scrub/Bracken:  
Bare Outcrop:  
Heather/Moorland:  
Heath:  
Built-up:  
Coastal Grassland:  
Other:  

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Contour Fort:  
Partial Contour Fort:  
Promontory Fort:  
Hillslope Fort:  
Level Terrain Fort:  
Marsh Fort:  
Multiple Enclosure Fort:  

Topographic Position

Hilltop:  
Coastal Promontory:  
Inland Promontory:  
Valley Bottom:  
Knoll/Hillock/Outcrop:  
Ridge:  
Cliff/Plateau-edge/Scarp:  
Hillslope:  
Lowland:  
Spur:  

Dominant Topographic Feature:  

Aspect

North:  
Northeast:  
East:  
Southeast:  
South:  
Southwest:  
West:  
Northwest:  
Level:  

Elevation

Altitude:  28.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

The Annals of Iona record a siege of Aberte in AD 712 (Alcock 1981, 157)

Reliability:  D - None

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Occupied by medieval castle

Other:  Documentary sources

Investigations

1st Identified Map Depiction (1866):  Annotated Castle on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Argyll and Bute 1869, sheet 265-11)
Earthwork Survey (1967):  Plan and description of the castle (RCAHMS 1971, 157-9, no.309, fig 162)
Other (1971):  Scheduled
Other (1977):  Surveyed at 1:10.000 by the OS

Interior Features

Featureless apart from the fragments of the medieval castle

Water Source

None:  
Spring:  
Stream:  
Pool:  
Flush:  
Well:  
Other:  

Surface

No Known Features:  
Round Stone Structures:  
Rectangular Stone Structures:  
Curvilinear Platforms:  
Other Roundhouse Evidence:  
Pits:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  

Excavation

No Known Excavation:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Geophysics

No Known Geophysics:  
Pits:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Finds

No Known Finds:  
Pottery:  
Metal:  
Metalworking:  
Human Bones:  
Animal Bones:  
Lithics:  
Environmental:  
Other:  

Aerial

NO APPARENT FEATURES

APs Not Checked:  
None:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Other:  

Entrances

None known

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:  0:  Presumably from across the neck on the N

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Enclosing Works

Unknown

Enclosed Area 1:  0.12ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.1ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  

Number of Ramparts:  0

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  

Current Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  
Unknown:  

Multi-period Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:  
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  

Surface Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Rubble:  
Wall-walk:  
Evidence of Timber:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
Other:  

Excavated Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Murus Duplex:  
Timber-framed:  
Timber-laced:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
No Known Excavation:  
Other:  

Gang Working

Gang Working:  ✗ 

Ditches

Ditches:  

Number of Ditches:  

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Alcock, L (1981) 'Early historic fortifications in Scotland'. In Guilbert, G (ed.) Hill-fort studies: essays for A H A Hogg. Leicester

RCAHMS (1971) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the ancient monuments, volume 1: Kintyre. HMSO: Edinburgh

Terms of Use

The online version of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland should be cited as:

Lock, G. and Ralston, I. 2017.  Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk.

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