Dun an Sticer

(Dun an Sticir, Dùn an Sticer)

One of the best examples of an Iron Age galleried dun on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Dun an Sticer (or Dun an Sticir) is situated on a small island in Loch an Sticir, a semi-tidal loch located quarter-mile (0.4 km) south southeast of Newtonferry. It is accessed via narrow causeway to an intervening small island, which is itself connected to the shore by a pair of causeways. Dating from between 500 BC and 0 AD, its purpose was both as an effective defensive structure and a conspicuous demonstration of power. Almost circular, it reaches 18.3m (60 feet) in diameter and the walls still reach 2.4m (8 feet) in height. It was accessed by a single entrance that penetrated its walls, which were 3.5m (11 feet) in thickness and contained a guard-cell and a stairway to upper levels. The structure was re-occupied during Mediaeval times and a new hall built around the broch to accommodate the local ruler, with echoes of Finlaggan on Islay. Hugh Macdonald, who had tried to take control of the Macdonalds of the Isles clan from his cousin, took refuge here but was seized in 1601 and taken to his death in Duntulm Castle on Skye. Just beyond the junction which leads to the Berneray Causeway there is now a roadside car park and interpretation panel.

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