Scheduled Monument

Castle Haven,dun,Castle Haven BaySM1116

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 59351 48271
259351, 548271


The monument consists of an Iron Age fortification, or dun, which has been partly reconstructed. There is evidence for re-use in the latter part of the first millennium AD.

Castle Haven dun was cleared of rubble and partly reconstructed in 1905. The limit of original stonework was shown by a painted line, now obscure, and the work is commemorated by a small bronze plaque set into the walling to the left of the entrance, inside the courtyard.Artefacts recovered from the 1905 excavations include human bones, pottery, worked stone and metal artefacts of the early Iron

Age and also, possibly, of 8th/9th century AD date.

The dun is D-shaped on plan, with walls up to 5m thick surrounding a courtyard 18m by 11m. The walls are galleried, and contain at least one stone stairway, although the reconstruction of the upper levels is not necessarily authentic. The dun stands within an outer courtyard of similar plan but with narrower walls, now much reduced. There are entrances at the NE end of the dun and also to the WSW, the latter leading steeply down to a small bay, which would have provided an ideal landing place for small boats.

The area to be scheduled includes the dun, the outer enclosure and an area around them, in which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive. It is bounded to the NW by the top of a steep rocky drop. The area measures a maximum of 85m NE-SW by 40m, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a very fine and generally convincing reconstruction of an Iron Age dun, in an area where such monuments are numerous but usually in a thoroughly ruined condition. Despite excavations in the early twentieth century, considerable amounts of undisturbed archaeological deposits can be expected to survive, which, taken with the foundations of the original structure preserved beneath the 1905 rebuilding work, have the potential to provide important evidence about Iron Age and early medieval defensive architecture and domestic economy.



The monument is recorded by the RCAHMS as NX 54 NE 3.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 22/03/2019 03:59