A record of our ancient Brochs, Hill-forts and Sculptured Stones of Scotland
Dun Chealamy Broch
N.M.R. number:- NC75SW9 Highland HER number:- MHG10718 OS Grid Ref:- NC71995140 SCHEDULED
Dun Chealamy Broch stands above the west bank of the Naver on a river terrace which has been steeply cut away in the north by the Carnachadh Burn. On the south-west side are two banks and ditches with access to the broch around them to the north or east. Most of the stone has been removed for later use by the depopulated sites, bridge or house building. The tumble of stone left obscures most of the internal space and any evidence for an entrance is impossible to discern without excavation. An intra-mural feature is difficult to discern. Access after careful parking is a short uphill walk where there may be livestock. The nearby house is a holiday let so will not have information about the site.
Major Structural Notes:-
The outside diameter is estimated to 15m at its maximum from south-west to north-east. The wall thickness is estimated as 4m with an inside diameter estimated as 7m. The entrance passage, now obscured, could conceivably be in the south-east quadrant where there is a narrow terrace. The outer wall mostly only survives robbing in parts of the north and west and there has been collapse down slope in the north-east.. The evidence for an intra-mural structure may be in the south-west where a wall face or revetment appears. The inner wall face in the north-west has been cleared out and a scarcement was seen in 1985.
The banks and ditches appear to be contemporary with the broch, cutting off the promontory and there is evidence for a rectangular structure within the inner ditch at its east end and other structures east of the broch.
The prominence upon which the broch sits gives good views around and, in common with most other brochs, would have made it a focal point in the landscape. The outflow of the Carnachadh Burn below the broch is full of archaeology with hut-circles, runrig and depopulated houses all easily seen as evidence for land use. There is also a cairnfield which legend has as the burial mounds after a battle here. Dun Viden Broch stands across the Naver some 700m to the north-east and Dun Carnachadh Broch would have been visible just over 1Km to the north. Down slope to the south glacial action has formed an enclosed basin suitable for cattle holding.
Strath Naver appears on Ptolemy’s map as Fl. Naverus, suggesting that the strath was known to the Romans, probably as a safe anchorage for traders or for the fleet’s circumnavigation of Britain.
The name of this broch and its neighbour can be confusing as this one sits above the Carnachadh Burn.
Sources: Site visits, Highland HER and RCAHMS Canmore database, Swanson ms 1985.