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Dun Borve

Stone Fort / Dun

<b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoyImage © drerw/amj
Nearest Town:Uig (47km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NG03259401 / Sheet: 18
Latitude:57° 50' 13.41" N
Longitude:   7° 0' 3.36" W

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<b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by tiompan <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Dun Borve</b>Posted by drewbhoy

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Toe Head certainly left an impression on me and I'll definitely be back but Dun Borve was calling so I retraced my steps back to Northton and the A859. I also retraced my steps back to Croft 36, obviously I needed sustenance.

Once back on the A859 I walked north following the road past Scarista, which I'd visit later in the day, the golf course and the still clouded Sound Of Taransay. Just to the north east of the sites at Scarista there is a handily placed sign post indicating the track to Dun Borve, very handy indeed.

This track isn't in very good condition, however marker poles lead to the dun which is easily spotted as a prominent rocky landmark.

Walls surrounding the site are measured at over 14m and some of it remains built, a testament to their, the Iron Age peoples, building skills. The entrance to the dun is in the east leading to a circular turf patch indicating some type of building, enclosure or forecourt. Various buildings have been attached to the walls i.e. sheiling huts, wind breaks. Like Canmore I think it is also a dun as it is a small area for a complicated and larger structure such as a broch. A superb place for a look out as it looks to the Sound Of Taransay to the north, the Atlantic to the west and the mountains of South Harris to the east. It is also, more importantly, looks over the largest expanse of fertile land in South Harris. This explains the prehistory, all the graveyards and The Coffin Road.

Also in the area are cup marked rocks. Tiompan has kindly posted some these to this site page.

Another wonderful place, is there no end of them here? I missed the south direction earlier, as there is another dun and possibly cairns to the south, a considerable walk which I'll do next time. Time to walk back south to Rodel avoiding the camper vans whilst admiring the landscape. Later on it was up to Hashinish, now that is a road!

Visited 4/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th October 2017ce

Folklore

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..the account of the practice at Pudding Pie Hill in which a knife is stuck into the centre in order to hear fairy speech.. [is the something like the reverse of how a knife is used in] a story concerning Dun Borbe on South Harris, in the Hebrides. The fort was believed to be a fairy abode, and on one occasion:

a sailor of Harris.. sat down to rest on this fairy knoll and heard great lamenting therein. He was curious by nature and also kindly, so he set out to try to find out what was causing the Little People such distress. Being a practical man he decided that the best way to find out was to go into the dun and ask, and he set off walking round it slowly and carefully seeking the entrance. No sign of a door could be seen, but the cries and piteous sobbing continued, indeed seemed to grow more hopeless. He stood wondering what to do next, when he noticed a knife plunged to the hilt in the earth. Without thinking, he pulled it out; instantly an unseen door opened and out rushed the Little People, to surround him and, with cries of joy and welcome, to hurry him into the dun to their Queen. As soon as he saw here he asked what had been wrong. He felt very sorry for the Little People, who still showed signs of having been in great trouble; nevertheless, he wisely held fast to the knife while the Queen explained. She said that a man of the dun had loved a Harris maiden and they met and spent the long summer days together while she herded her father's cows. But her father had found out, and, being very angry, he had learnt from his daughter how to find the entrance to the dn and had then come and stuck his fisher's knife in the door frame, and they, unable to touch or pass cold iron, were prisoners in their dun, expecting to starve to death. He had saved them.
Erm I don't know what they gave him as reward. The story's from Otta F Swire's 'Outer Hebrides and their Legends' 1966, p77, and quoted in 'Circling as an Entrance to the Otherworld', by Samuel Pyeatt Menefee, in Folklore, Vol. 96, No. 1. (1985), pp. 3-20.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th September 2006ce
Edited 21st August 2017ce