The Dunyvaig Project

Located on the southern coast of Islay, Dunyvaig Castle is one of Islay’s the most important historic sites. It was once the naval fortress of the Lords of the Isles, the chiefs of the Clan MacDonald. Although the current remains of the castle are predominately of the 16th century, its foundations are undoubtedly much earlier and it may have been constructed on top of a prehistoric dun or fort.

Following a generous funding award from Diageo’s contribution to ‘Islay Good Causes’, marking Lagavulin’s 200th anniversary, Islay Heritage has completed one major excavation at Dunyvaig castle to document its turbulent history, learn more about the lives of its inhabitants, and to transform this neglected site into a vibrant heritage centre for the residents and visitors to the island. You can read about the latest excavations of Dunyvaig in the 2019 Dunyvaig excavation report

An overview of the project proposal is available here ‘The Dunyvaig Project’ and details of an academic workshop held in October 2017 to formulate the research questions here ‘Dunyvaig Academic Workshop’.

An electrical resistance and terrestrical 3D laser scan survey was also conducted at Dunyvaig in August 2017, and you can read the report here at Islay Heritage.

Dunyvaig drawing

Islay Heritage works in collaboration with other organisations concerned with the cultural and natural heritage of Islay:

Museum of Islay Life
Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile
Islay Natural History Trust