Dun an Sticer

Newton, Isle Of North Uist, Outer Hebrides, HS6 5AZ

Type:Monuments & Ruins

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About

The Iron Age broch

Sometime between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, a great circular drystone tower house was built, which functioned as a well-defended family residence, and as a conspicuous demonstration of power. The walls were 3.5 metres thick walls, within which were chambers and galleries, but the only opening to the outside world was a single small doorway. The causeways were narrower than they are today, and may have included a "rocking stone", which could alert the occupants of the broch to the approach of unwelcome visitors.

A Medieval Estate

Between the 9th and 13th centuries AD the Outer Hebrides were under the overlordship of the Norsemen, who abandoned the old centres of power in favour of new sites. By the 16th century, however, Dun an Sticir had again become the centre of an important lordship. A new hall was built inside and around the old broch, and the larger middle island, the "Island of Bad Council" also contained at least one substantial building. This echoes Finlaggan on Islay, where the Lords of the Isles held council. In 1601 Dun an Sticir was the scene of dramatic events in when Hugh Macdonald was seized by his enemies and taken to his death in Skye.

This site has never been investigated: many details of the above reconstruction of the hall and other buildings, such as roofing material, are therefore conjectural.

The outer islet has been used as a secure stronghold since prehistoric times. During the Iron Age, more than 2,000 years ago, a massive galleried dun or broch was built, which would have been occupied by the local tribal chieftain. In the turbulent later Middle Ages a rectangular hall was inserted into the pre-existing circular dun, and the islands once again served as the residence and refuge of the local magnates.

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. Giant Mackaskill Monument is located ti the South of Berneray.

    1.57 miles away
  2. Clachan Sands beach is a stunning white sandy beach which is accessible via the village…

    1.68 miles away
  3. Loch Bhurigh is easily accessible from the machair to the south of the island.

    1.68 miles away
  1. Close to the ferry terminal lie the slight remains of a burial cairn, probably dating to…

    1.77 miles away
  2. Cladh Maolrithe

    At Beinn a'Chlaidh - Hill of the Graveyard - there is a standing stone.

    2.18 miles away
  3. A truly stunning beach and was voted in 2021 as no. 3 in Lonely Planet's Top 20 Best…

    2.83 miles away
  4. Seal viewing point

    3.04 miles away
  5. Berneray and the nearby island of Pabbay lie in the Sound of Harris between North Uist…

    3.56 miles away
  6. Ben Ghainche is a small hill situated at the north end of the beach at Bearsdaire

    4.02 miles away
  7. The Udal is thought to have been occupied from the Neolithic Age right up to the early…

    4.74 miles away
  8. The Hut of the Shaddows by artist Chris Drury forms part of the Uist Sculpture Trail.

    5.55 miles away
  9. The Mosaic Mackerel sculpture by Rosalind Waites forms part of the Uist Sculpture Trail.

    6 miles away
  10. Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre is a place where people can meet, share ideas,…

    6 miles away
  11. The Uist Sculpture Trail runs through Uist and Benbecula, providing a series of seven…

    6 miles away
  12. Malacleit is a peaceful crofting village situated on the edge of Traigh Bhalaigh (Vallay)…

    6.67 miles away
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