N.B. In the absence of OS map I originally believed this site to be Dun Lagaidh, actually located just under a mile to the approx north-west, beyond the terminus of the minor road at Loggie. Oops. One to come back for, then. And bring a bleedin' map next time. Having said that, I was more than happy with this broch in the time available.....
Now allocating a whole day to drive the not excessive distance between Coigach, a little north of Ullapool, and the Isle of Skye to the south may seem a little, well, excessive. However choose the A832 coastal road at Corrieshalloch Gorge and I'd wager many will conclude a mere week would not suffice, such is the sublime scenery on offer. Yeah, Mother Scotland truly surpassed herself here-abouts, did she not? Incidentally 'Heads' new to the area are strongly recommended to pause to gawp - hopefully in not too vertiginous a fashion - at the aforementioned box canyon, the viewing bridge offering arguably one of Scotland's finest 'near roadside' experiences, furthermore graced with the 150ft Falls of Measach.
It is therefore perhaps a little ironic to note the paucity (as far as I'm aware) of prehistoric monuments located along the coastal route, particularly bearing in mind the rich canon of sites to be visited further north. Nevertheless there are still a few man-made gems to be unearthed, none more so than Dun an Ruigh Ruaidh wondrously located overlooking the western shore of Loch Broom. It is all too easy to pass on by.... however ..... a minor, literally 'dead-end' road leaves the A835 at the southern extremity of the loch, skirting the far shore to connect a linear sequence of small hamlets. The final such is Loggie, travellers glancing up to their left, immediately upon entering its environs, perhaps discerning the site perched upon its steep, craggy hillside. I didn't, but for once I had an excuse having no OS map. Consequently I parked up a little further north, taking the opportunity to replenish my water levels from a tumbling stream, whilst two alternative camping dudes looked on from within the open sliding door of their van. Excellent! Better than a B'n'B, my friends. Looking back up the road I realise my mistake, Dun an Ruigh Ruaidh standing silent sentinel above the shimmering loch. Excellent again.
It's a short, yet very steep ascent up a grassy track from roadside to a broch which, according to Anna and Graham Ritchie (Oxford Archaeological Guide to Scotland) still stands approx 3.5m high in places, although the eastern arc did appear to have collapsed downhill. Excavation during the 1960's discovered a ring of post holes evidencing an upper floor, together with a central hearth. It seems the original entrance was to the south-east, although this is now blocked.
All in all, then, not a bad broch. The archaeology, however, is more than matched by the exquisite location offering superb vistas NW(ish) toward Ullapool and, looking 'upstream', the towering skyline of Beinn Dearg and cohorts rising above the water. There are worse places to hang out for lunch. Yeah, Dun an Ruigh Ruaidh may be a little off the beaten track nowadays, but I reckon it was smack on centre stage when the water ways were the arteries of this landscape.
Posted by GLADMAN
18th July 2013ce
Edited 18th July 2013ce