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Conservation Assessment of Dunyvaig Castle

Conservation Assessment of Dunyvaig Castle

Islay Heritage conducted excavations at Dunyvaig Castle in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The reports are available here: http://islayheritage.org/dunyvaig/

The castle is a scheduled monument (SM4747) under care of Historic Environment Scotland, while remains in the ownership of Lagavulin/Diageo. During the course of the excavations, the need for repairs to the walls of the castle to avoid further deterioration became evident.

The castle is increasingly threatened by climate change, leading to higher and stormier seas, and increasing visitor numbers that can destabilise the masonry. Islay Heritage approached Historic Environment Scotland and secured funding for an updated conservation assessment.  We commissioned GRAS architects to undertake the work and are pleased to share a copy of their report, received in August 2022. Some key areas of the castle are described as being in a parlous state, with a need for immediate and urgent repairs to be undertaken within a programme of overall consolidation.

We have submitted this report to Historic Environment Scotland and shared it with Lagavulin/Diageo. We hope a collaboration will develop to enable funding to be secured to protect the castle, one of Islay’s most important and much loved historic sites.

Olistadh: A new archaeology project for Islay

Olistadh: A new archaeology project for Islay

The University of Reading and Islay Heritage are pleased to announce a new field project on Islay. This will involve three seasons of fieldwork at the site of Olistadh, located on the Rhinns peninsula. The project will use Olistadh as a case study to explore rural...

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New Guides to Islay’s Heritage for Walkers and Cyclists

New Guides to Islay’s Heritage for Walkers and Cyclists

In a collaborative project with the Museum of Islay Life, Islay Heritage is providing information boards at selected locations around the island to tell people about the remarkable historic and archaeological sites on the island. These will be discretely placed on...

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Report of the Dunyvaig Excavations in 2021

Report of the Dunyvaig Excavations in 2021

Islay Heritage and the University of Reading returning to Dunyvaig Castle in September 2021 for its third and final season of excavation. Click on the Read the Report button to read a full account of what was found in his report. Marko also presents two short videos...

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Searching for the Ice Age at Rubha Port an t-Seilich

Searching for the Ice Age at Rubha Port an t-Seilich

Excavations at Rubha Port an t-Seilich resumed in September 2021. This site is already the earliest known settlement on Islay – a 9200 year old campsite of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Stone tools from the site, however, suggest there are still older deposits to be...

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Land of the Illich – a new book about Islay’s Past

Land of the Illich – a new book about Islay’s Past

Steven Mithen journeys around Islay to historic sites and monuments to tell the story of its people, from the earliest Stone Age hunter-gatherers to those who lived in townships and in the grandeur of Islay House.  Steven visits the tombs of Neolithic farmers, forts...

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The Ballad of Dunyvaig

The Ballad of Dunyvaig

Sarah Lambert-Gates is an archaeologist who has working with Islay Heritage and the University of Reading at the excavations of Dunyvaig and Rubha Port an t-Seilich since 2017. She is well known not only for her excavation and digital recording skills, but also for...

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Dun Fhinn – the oldest known dun in Argyll

Dun Fhinn – the oldest known dun in Argyll

There are over 50 duns on Islay – circular stone built structures often located on the tops of crags or coastal promontories. These were built during the Iron Age, probably in a response to climate change and population pressure. Whether they were all constructed at...

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Fox and Geese on Islay

Fox and Geese on Islay

There are no foxes but plenty of geese on Islay today. But both were present in the 16th period as pieces in medieval board game known as ‘fox and geese’. The 2021 excavations at Dunyvaig Castle discovered large slabs of slate engraved with criss-cross diagonal lines...

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Archaeological Evaluation of Loch nan Deala Crannog

Archaeological Evaluation of Loch nan Deala Crannog

In early October, Islay Heritage carried out an archaeological evaluation at the site of a crannog in the partly drained Loch nan Deala near Keills. This is the second time we have come to this intriguing site having conducted detailed topographic and geophysical...

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