Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Dun Bayble

Monday 26th May, 2008

After coffee this morning I had a walk up to Dun Bayble. This island dun with its stone causeway is on Loch an Duin, just outside Eagleton in Lower Bayble and not - as is suggested by at least one website - near Tiumpan Head on the other (confusingly named) Loch an Duin. The dun or fort is at 516304 on Landranger Map 8. Loch an Duin means the lake of the fort.

I have visited the loch on a number of occasions in the past but despite wellies have never managed to get to a decent spot to photograph it. So dry has the weather been that even in my fell boots I could walk all the way round it today and by going up to the sheep wash was able to get the best of angles.

The dun is crannog like in appearance. The choice of an island as a home is thought to have been for defence and for the availability of food in the form of fish nearby. The crannog could be reached from the nearest shore by means of a causeway built up with stones, or a wooden gangway built atop raised piles. An example of a reconstructed crannóg is located at the Scottish Crannóg Centre at Loch Tay, Tayside.

A variant of the crannóg was the island roundhouse. Built on a small, rocky island in a lochan and usually reached by means of a causeway, these are extremely common in the Western Isles. The visible remains are most often those of a dún, although there are examples of full broch towers occupying some sites. Not many have been excavated, but the majority of those that have been show earlier occupation underneath the visible remains. Dún is the gaelic word for fort, and a number of Scottish castles use 'Dun-' as a prefix.

I cannot trace any historical information about Dun Bayble. Ironically Googling it merely led to my own blog from last year.

Also at Loch an Duin is a cairn but again I have no information on its history.

An Oystercatcher kept going from shore to shore in an attempt to get away from me while a Great Skua going overhead ignored me completely but flew so swiftly I couldn’t get a decent photo.

These are the sheep washes by the loch.

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