Record details

Type of record:Monument


fortified stac

Grid Reference:NB 00220 31520
Map Sheet:NB03SW
Parish:UIG, Western Isles
Township:Mangersta, Uig, Western Isles

Monument Types

  • FORT (Undated)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 5327: Stac Dhomnuill Chaim, fortified promontory, Mangersta

Full description

NB03SW 1 0022 3152.

(NB 0022 3152) Stac Dhomnuill Chaim, Mangursta, traditionally known as the castle-refuge of Donald Cam Macauly, the Uig hero of the first quarter of the 17th century, is a promontory 100ft high, the top only 20ft in length, almost cut off from the shore by a deep ravine across an isthmus which is defended also by a wall, 4 to 5ft thick, with a return-wall at the N. end and an entrance, 2ft wide, almost on a cliff edge, at the S end: attached to the wall is a sheep-pen.
The ruins of a cottage, 18 1/2ft long by 10ft wide, within walls 4 1/2ft thick, occupy the centre of the promontory.
F W L Thomas 1890.

Now inaccessible due to cliff falls. From what can be seen from the opposite cliff it appears to be as planned by Thomas.
Visited by OS (R L) 1 July 1969

'The monument...comprises a naturally fortified rock stack utilised as a refuge in the early 17th century by the Uig warrior, Donald Cam Macaulay. The rock is called Stac Domnuill Chaim. The area to be scheduled is irregular and measures a maximum of 200m NE-SW by 100m NW-SE to include the fortified promontory, the dwelling and the boulder feature.
HS Scheduling Document 9 March 1992.

The coast is actively and rapidly eroding.
Structure A
Structure A is a small, c. 2m internal siameter, circular turf and stone building adjoining the perimeter wall (structure C) on the north-eastern edge of the stack. It has no apparent enterance.
Structure B
Structure B is the remains of a sub-rectangular building, of stone and turf, 2 x 6m internally, c. 5 x 10m externally. There is no visible enterance, It occupies the centre of the stack, and is seperated from structure A by a narrow gap, which it is likely to have been a wider passage in the past, before the walls of both structures slumped and broadened.
Structure C
Structure C is the perimeter wall. It is constructed of stone and turf, and extends from the northern end of the stack, down to the eastern side, to its southern end. At the southern end, the wall becomes harder to define, but possibly encloses two terraces which occupy the southern end of the stack. The wall appears to the southern end of the eastern edge of the second terrace, below the upper terrace upon which the building stand. However, around the southern end of this second terrace, occational masonry suggests a very ephemeral, possibly earlier, wall, and it is possible that this represents an earlier and longer phase of the perimeter wall.
Barrowman et al 2003 p 23-27

Thomas, F. W. L., 1890, Archaeol Scot, 394-5 plan (Bibliographic reference). SWE7756.

Burgess, Christopher & Church, Michael, 1997, Coastal Erosion Assessment, Lewis. A Report for Historic Scotland (Bibliographic reference). SWE41000.

C. Barrowman, I. McHardy, M. MacLeod, 2003, Severe Terrain Archaeological Campaign (STAC) (Unpublished document). SWE41052.

Sources and further reading

  • Bibliographic reference: Burgess, Christopher & Church, Michael. 1997. Coastal Erosion Assessment, Lewis. A Report for Historic Scotland.
  • Unpublished document: C. Barrowman, I. McHardy, M. MacLeod. 2003. Severe Terrain Archaeological Campaign (STAC).
  • Bibliographic reference: Thomas, F. W. L.. 1890. Archaeol Scot. 5. 365-415. 394-5 plan.

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