Rubh’ an Dùnain
Rannsaich am baile caillte Sgitheanach seo
English Gàidhlig
Rubh’ an Dùnain

Na tha eòlaichean ag ràdh …

Daibhidh Cowley agus Dr Cailean Màrtainn

(RCAHMS agus Ionad Cuantach na Morbhairne, ann an Current Archaeology, Sultain 2011)

There is nothing like an image of longboats bristling with axe-waving Vikings to excite the popular imagination, and one of the most significant early harbours in western Scotland investigated in recent times has acquired this association. Rubh’ an Dùnain . . . though remote and uninhabited today . . . has been a place of intensive human activity since the distant past.

Màrtainn Wildgoose

(Ag obair air a cheann fhèin mar arc-eòlaiche san Eilean Sgitheanach)

Rubh' an Dùnain offers the archaeologist and the interested visitor the chance to study the evolution of a defined landscape – a landscape which has been adapted and controlled to suit successive waves of settlement, a landscape where the homes, enclosure patterns and burial sites survive as visible monuments . . . [it] is an open time-capsule waiting to be examined.

Dr Daibhidh Caldwell

(roimhe Neach-glèidhidh na h-Alba ’s na Roinn Eòrpa agus Neach-glèidhidh Arc-eòlais, Taighean-tasgaidh na h-Alba; nise Ceann-suidhe Comann Àrsairean na h-Alba)

Having worked on the site with Colin Martin I can confirm that I think [Rubh' an Dùnain] is of the utmost importance in elucidating a lot of matters to do with the early history of Skye and the Isles. It is also a very beautiful spot.

Iain Philips

Àrd Raonair na Dùthcha, Ros, Crombaidh agus an t-Eilean Sgitheanach, Comhairle Roinn na Gàidhealtachd)

Rubh’ an Dùnain is a fascinating place. With 5,000 years of Skye’s diverse archaeology on show, it is high on my list of “must-sees” on a visit to the island. From the Neolithic, through the Iron Age to the Vikings and the abandoned MacAskill clachan there is a lot to take in. Allow plenty time to get round the sites and take care – some of the burns can be difficult to cross after heavy rain.

An t-Oll. Boyd MacDhonnchaidh

(Ceannard, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean, Slèite, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach)

Tha ùidh mhòr againne aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig ann an Rubh’ an Dùnain bho dhiofar sheallaidhean. ’S e làrach chudromach a th’ann air sàillibh na tha e ag innse dhuinn mun eachdraidh agus mun dualchas againn, mu ar sinnsirean agus an dòigh-beatha a bh’ aca, na ceanglaichean eadar na Lochlannaich agus na Ceiltich, na slighean mara agus ainmean-àite. Cuiridh na thèid fhaighinn a-mach mu Rubh’ an Dùnain ri cùrsaichean leithid ar BA (le urram) Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig agus MSc Cultar Dùthchasach is Eachdraidh na Gàidhealtachd. Bheir e cothroman airson rannsachadh agus co-obrachadh thairis air diofar chuspairean agus ionadan foghlaim.

Coinneach MacIllEathain

(Ball den Bhòrd aig Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil na h-Alba)

Thug m’ athair mi gu Rubh’ an Dùnain nuair nach robh annam ach deugaire le fìor ùidh ann an arc-eòlas. Bha buaidh mhaireannach aige orm. Cha robh mi riamh air a bhith ann an àite far an robh uiread de charraighean a bh’ air an deagh ghlèidheadh ’s a bha a’ comharrachadh còig mile bliadhna. Le ceangal dìreach gu mo shinnsirean, chan eil àite eile air an t-saoghal a tha a’ toirt dhomh faireachdainn cho làidir mu mo dhùthchas ris an rubha iomallach seo.

Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba

Special qualities of National Scenic Areas (2010)

The area is an SNH Search Area for Wild Land. However, in contrast to the generally minimal human influence inland, there is ample evident of previous use along the fringes of the mountains, particularly in the form of prehistoric hut circles and later shielings. One location Rudha an Dùnain, has exceptionally good evidence of settlement and field systems from the Neolithic period onwards, including a canal, reputed to be of Viking date.

Coimisean Rìoghail nan Làraichean Àrsaidh is Eachdraidheil an Alba

At the toe of this remote promontory, bounded by Loch Brittle and the Sound of Soay and reached only by a lonely track, lies a rich palimpsest of archaeological remains testifying to the former significance of Rubh' an Dùnain. Chambered cairn, probably 2nd or 3rd millennium BC, a Neolithic passage grave. To its south, one of best preserved survivals of an Iron Age promontory fort (or galleried dun), with a portion of curved drystone wall to landward, possibly 1st millennium BC. A stone-lined canal, possibly Viking, connects a sheltered inlet to a small lochan, suitable for harbouring birlinns. Small former township, with round-ended ruin of early-mid 18th century tacksman's house, a two-storey chimney gable at one end.

Bho "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", le Màiri Miers, 2008. Air fhoillseachadh le Rutland Press

Anna NicSuain

(Arc-eòlaiche agus sgrìobhaiche)

As an archaeologist and a frequent visitor to Skye, the walk out to Rubh’ an Dùnain has long been a favourite of mine. Once there, the amount of archaeology on the peninsula is a reminder that places that now seem remote to us were not always that way. It also makes me think about how important sea transport was in connecting the communities on Rubh' an Dùnain with other communities in the area.

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