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Forts

Although the term ‘dun’ is used in connection with both forts and duns, they can be distinguished from each other on the basis of size (area) and by their assumed function.  Both are Iron Age defensive structures, but forts are much larger than duns and are assumed to have provided protection for the whole local community.  Duns, on the other hand, probably accommodated only an extended family.

Mull boasts a high proportion of Argyll’s forts.  The largest is the promontory fort at Sloc a’ Mhuilt on the south side of the Ross of Mull and has an area of 2.47 acres.  A general characteristic of these forts is that the main defensive structure is usually a single, stoutly-built stone wall of boulder-faced construction with a solid dry-stone core, and with a thickness ranging from 2 m to 5.2 m.  This is often protected by minor outworks in the form of lengths of walling.

Most of Mull’s 22 known forts are situated in strongly defensive positions on rocky crags, and at the end of coastal and inland promontories, where steep, sometimes almost-vertical rock faces protect the approaches.  Two are well-situated on hilltops and one on a small offshore island.  However, a few occupy low hills and knolls, which have few defensive advantages.

Below is an alphabetical list of the known forts on Mull.  Where the name is highlighted, more detailed information is available, sometimes including images.  Click to go to the link.  Please check back for further information as the Society has an ongoing updating programme.

Creag a’Chaisteil, Calgary
Dun an Fheurain, Ardalanish, Bunessan
Dun Ban, Mingary, Quinish Point
Dun Breac, Ardvergnish, Loch Scridain
Dun Eiphinn, Gometra
Dun Guaire, Croig
Dun Haunn, Treshnish
Dun Mor, Oskamull, near Ulva Ferry
Dun na Muirgheidh, Kilpatrick, Loch Scridain
Eilean nan Damh, Ardtun, Loch  Scridain
Eilean nan Gobhar, Croig                  Fort Cillchriosd, Mornish
Mingary Fort (also known as Dun Sgaillean), Quinish
Ormaig, Ulva
Poit na h-I, Pottie, Fionnphort
Rubha nan Oirean, Calgary
Salen
Sloc a’ Bhodaich, near Ardalanish, Bunessan
Sloc a’ Mhuilt, near Scoor, Bunessan
Torr a’ Chlachain, Glen Bellart, Dervaig
Torr Aint, Glen Bellart, Dervaig
Torr a’ Mhanaich, Dervaig