Eilean Nan Gobhar, Sound Of Arisaig

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Alternative Names Eilean Nan Gobhar 1
Site Type FORT
Canmore ID 22509
Site Number NM67NE 1
NGR NM 6938 7938
Former Region HIGHLAND
Former District LOCHABER
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NM67NE 1 6938 7938.

See also NM67NE 2.

(NM 6938 7938) Vitrified Fort (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6"map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

There are two vitrified forts on Eilean nan Gobhar, a rocky cliff-girt islet.
The larger (see NM67NE 2 for the other) occupies the summit of the isle and is sub-rectangular on plan, measuring c. 40.0m WNW - ESE by 22.0m transversely, within a heavily vitrified wall which survives on the S. to a maximum height of 2.5m. On the N. approximately 22.0m of the outer wall is visible, suggesting a width of 4.0m to 5.0m. No built masonry survives anywhere else and no entrance can be seen.
In the uneven interior of the fort are three stone-walled huts (A-C) each being a level circular platform surrounded by a rubble wall, spread to c. 20.0m in which no entrance or faces can be seen, and measuring c 8.0m. in diameter between wall centres. A and B have been built against the inner face of the fort wall but whether they are contemporary with the fort or later cannot be established because the remains of the wall are so slight. C is set into a west-facing slope.
About 10.0m outside the fort wall, on the south, are traces of a denuded wall showing intermittent outer facing stones and to the N of the E arc of the fort are traces of similar walling with one piece of vitrification at its N end. Although possibly part of an earlier work,their position, each at the head of a natural gully, the only means of access to the fort, suggests that they are supplementary defences. Each gully, c. 3.0m wide, is blocked by a tumbled wall half-way down the slope. Between the gullies the ground falls to the shore in a series of rocky scarps, near the bases of which all gaps in the rocks have been blocked by rough walling.
Visited by OS (N K B) 1 June 1970.
E Hamilton 1880; R W Feachem 1963.

Books and References

Feachem, R (1963b) A guide to prehistoric Scotland, London
Page(s): 127 Held at RCAHMS E.2.FEA

Hamilton, E (1880) Archaeol J, vol.37
Page(s): 239-40 plan

Nisbet, H C (1974a) 'A geological approach to vitrified forts, part I: the archaeological and scientific background', Sci & Archaeol, vol.12
Page(s): 5, 6, 9 Held at RCAHMS E.9.NIS.P

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