Dun Bhuirg

Dun Bhuirg

This dun lies about 500 m south-west of Burg Farmhouse on the north shore of Loch Scridain on the Ardmeanach peninsula.  Access is via a track that runs from the Tiroran Hotel to the old settlement of Burg. The road to the Hotel leaves the west side of the B8035 at the former Kilfinichen Parish Church, which has been converted into a holiday home, and sweeps round Kilfinichen Bay.  At the hotel it becomes a track.  A short distance beyond the hotel the National Trust for Scotland has provided a car park for visitors.

From this point track provides a very pleasant walk though lovely scenery with fine views of Loch Scridain. There are a number of ruined settlements above and below the track, including Slochd and Salacry, but the most obvious are Culliemore, which is north of the track just before you reach Tavool House, the Tavool Workers’ Houses just beyond Tavool House and the ruined settlement at Burg.  The well-preserved Dun Bhuirg lies south west of the Burg settlement and, for the somewhat more intrepid, a path continues from Burg to the famous fossil tree.

The dun is sited on the summit of an east-west aligned, elongated rocky ridge and is protected by a 15 m high, vertical cliff face on the south side.  The other sides are less steep, rising about 6 m above the surrounding ground.

It is sub-oval in shape.  A well-built dry-stone wall encloses a central court that measures about 8.5 m by 6.9 m.  At it’s greatest thickness the wall measures 4.1 m.  Both the outer and inner faces are fairly well preserved.  The outer face has fallen away on the south side, but is particularly well preserved on the north side where it stands 1.3 m high.  A considerable amount of the inner face is also preserved, standing to an average height of 0.4 m.

The entrance is on the east side and is checked for a door.  It is 0.9 m wide on the outer end, widening to 1.2 m inside the checks, and narrowing to 1.0 m at the inner end.  About 2.4 m north of its inner end, in the inner face of the wall, is the doorway to an intramural chamber, the floor of which is about 0.4 m below the floor of the dun.  The remains of a flight of steps lead up from the south-east side of the chamber and, presumably, gave access to the head of the wall.  Only five steps now remain.  A memorial to Daisy Cheape, a young girl who drowned in the Loch in 1896, has been built at the centre of the interior court.

The approach to the dun was further protected by two walls, one around the summit of the ridge on the east side, and the second at the foot of the ridge on the north and east sides.  The northern half of the summit wall is reasonably well preserved, it’s outer face standing to about 1.0 m high at one point.  However, the southern half is reduced to a stony scarp.  The second wall, which probably originally surrounded the dun from the cliff on the east to the foot of the ridge on the north-west, now survives only as a series of grass-covered stony scarps.  Its construction is sufficiently different from that of the dun for it to be assumed that it is a secondary construction.

Grid Reference NM 421 262