Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

September 10, 2008

Dunvegan seeks to rebuild a bit of ancient history

Dunvegan Community Trust, in North West Skye is looking for volunteers to help them construct an Iron Age roundhouse in just 10 days as part of their efforts to promote the heritage of the local area. The DunCelt project combines oral history, archive research and the development of traditional skills.


An Iron Age roundhouse constructed using local timber, stone, heather and moss is to be built on Skye over just 10 days.

Members of Dunvegan Community Trust want to enlist volunteers to help them erect the replica at Orbost, in the north-west of the island.

Jan Robinson, a member of the trust which is behind the plans, said: “The lower wall will be made from stone, the floor will be a mixture of compacted earth and pebbles, while the conical roof will be made using wood and a blend of heather, moss and thatch.

“We hope to complete the building, from start to finish, in 10 days, but we are keen to hear from volunteers who would like to take part in the reconstruction.”

The project has been financed with a grant of £9,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a community-based programme of activities and events in north-west Skye.

The DunCelt project is a combination of oral history, archive research and traditional skills which aims to promote the heritage of Dunvegan.

Qualified local artisans have been identified to advise and lead community groups through the planned activities and teach new skills. These will be informal sessions open to all ages and abilities.

The roundhouse is being built during workshops of one course.

An information leaflet will be produced, copies of which will be available from the Tourist Information Centre and other community focal points. Once completed, there will be a celebration launch, with storytelling.

Most roundhouses have not survived as the organic materials used to build them rots away over time.

However, last summer, one of the biggest Iron Age roundhouses found in Scotland was uncovered during an archaeological dig near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.

Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Ms Robinson on 01854 633733 or e-mail to