Monument of the Month

Monument of the Month

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August 2013

Site Name: Dun Aisgain, Mull
Site Type: Dun
HER Record: WoSAS Pin 395

Monument Image
Aerial view of dun, image taken by EM Photography, copyright Forestry Commission Scotland

Dun, Dun Aisgain: This remarkably fine example of a galleried dun occupies a conspicuous position on the summit of a low rocky knoll some 600m SSW of Burg farm-house. It is almost exactly circular on plan, measuring 10.4m in diameter within a stone wall which measures 2.3m in average thickness but increases to 2.75m on each side of the entrance. The wall is in an exceptionally good state of preservation, particularly on the NW, where the outer face survives to a height of 2.75m in twelve courses, the lower portion rising vertically for 1.5m and the upper exhibiting an inward batter of 0.3m; in the same sector the inner face stands 1.75m high in eight courses. Nearly all the circuit of both the inner and outer face can still be traced, and there is no indication that the former either incorporated a scarcement or was interrupted to provide access to the internal gallery, 0.3m wide, that can be seen in the thickness of the wall at several points. The entrance, in the W and partly choked with debris, is 1.1m wide internally and only 0.8m wide at the outer end. However, about half-way along the passage, where it has been checked for a wooden door, the width increases to 1.35m; there are traces of a square bar-hole, 0.15m wide, just inside the rebate in the S passage-wall. Three lintels are still in position over the entrance- passage, while a fourth has been dislodged and lies on top of the debris immediately outside.
An outwork in the form of a stone wall has been drawn round the irrgular margin of the summit outside the dun. It appears, for the most part, as a low grass-covered band of stony debris, but on the SW it is better preserved and the outer face stands to a height of 1.9m in six courses; no inner facing-stones can, however, be seen. The entrance probably lay on the W, opposite the entrance to the dun. A sub-rectangular enclosure of no great age has encroached upon the inner line of the outer wall on the WSW, and a recent dyke overlies the outwork on the W.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
RCAHMS 1980, visited 1974; Visited by OS (DWR) 25 April 1972

Sources:

  • Ritchie and Harman, J N G and M , Exploring Scotland's heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles. Edinburgh (1985)
  • RCAHMS , The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the monuments Vol 3: Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early medieval and later monuments of Iona) (1980)
  • Whittaker, J , Mull: Monuments and History. Tobermory.(1999)