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TITLE
Dun at Loch-an-Duin, Aird & Dun at Barabhat, Berneray
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_2475_3_P002
PLACENAME
Barabhat
DISTRICT
Lewis
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Barvas
DATE OF IMAGE
1890
PERIOD
1890s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31697
KEYWORDS
Baravat
Varavat
zoomable

This dun is situated on a low-lying island in Loch an Duin, 25 metres from the east shore. It is accessed by a stone causeway, 43m in length, 2.5m wide and 1.2m high and comprised of large and medium sized boulders. A perimeter wall runs round all but the north end of the site. This wall was 0.5m wide, stood an average of 0.5 m in height and composed of unshaped, dry-stacked Lewisian Gneiss. There is debate over whether this monument is the remains of a chambered cairn or a domestic settlement.

Prior to excavation in the 1980s and 1990s, Dun Bharabhat appeared as a pile of rubble jutting-out above the surface Loch Bharabhat. The islet was linked to the shore by a dangerous, and often submerged, causeway.

The excavations revealed that the dun was built along the lines of a broch with intra-mural galleries, stairs and cells. It appears to have collapsed soon after completion but was subsequently reoccupied during the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. Material from directly under the floor of the roundhouse dates to around the 650 BC and demonstrates the presence of settlement in the earlier part of the millennium. Its premature collapse was in part due to it being built on the unstable debris of this previous occupation.

Traditionally the Atlantic roundhouses, and especially the broch towers, were seen as the defensive strongholds of a warrior aristocracy. In fact, the main defensive qualities of most of the Atlantic roundhouses in the Western Isles derive from their situation rather than from the structures themselves.

Whatever their defensive capacities, Hebridean Atlantic roundhouses were permanently occupied domestic buildings often associated with enclosures and additional structures necessary to the farming economy of their inhabitants.

This plate is taken from 'On the Duns of the Outer Hebrides' by F.W.L.Thomas and published in 'Archaeologia Scotica or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland', vol V (1890)

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Dun at Loch-an-Duin, Aird & Dun at Barabhat, Berneray

ROSS: Barvas

1890s

Baravat; Varavat; zoomable

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (maps)

This dun is situated on a low-lying island in Loch an Duin, 25 metres from the east shore. It is accessed by a stone causeway, 43m in length, 2.5m wide and 1.2m high and comprised of large and medium sized boulders. A perimeter wall runs round all but the north end of the site. This wall was 0.5m wide, stood an average of 0.5 m in height and composed of unshaped, dry-stacked Lewisian Gneiss. There is debate over whether this monument is the remains of a chambered cairn or a domestic settlement.<br /> <br /> Prior to excavation in the 1980s and 1990s, Dun Bharabhat appeared as a pile of rubble jutting-out above the surface Loch Bharabhat. The islet was linked to the shore by a dangerous, and often submerged, causeway. <br /> <br /> The excavations revealed that the dun was built along the lines of a broch with intra-mural galleries, stairs and cells. It appears to have collapsed soon after completion but was subsequently reoccupied during the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. Material from directly under the floor of the roundhouse dates to around the 650 BC and demonstrates the presence of settlement in the earlier part of the millennium. Its premature collapse was in part due to it being built on the unstable debris of this previous occupation.<br /> <br /> Traditionally the Atlantic roundhouses, and especially the broch towers, were seen as the defensive strongholds of a warrior aristocracy. In fact, the main defensive qualities of most of the Atlantic roundhouses in the Western Isles derive from their situation rather than from the structures themselves. <br /> <br /> Whatever their defensive capacities, Hebridean Atlantic roundhouses were permanently occupied domestic buildings often associated with enclosures and additional structures necessary to the farming economy of their inhabitants.<br /> <br /> This plate is taken from 'On the Duns of the Outer Hebrides' by F.W.L.Thomas and published in 'Archaeologia Scotica or Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland', vol V (1890)