Ancient history and archaeology Eachdraidh is Arc-Eòlas
You don’t have to be a historian or archaeologist to learn about the stories hidden in the landscape. Here is a quick and simple guide to some of the best know sites in Glen Nevis, where you can see them and a little bit about their history.
This Iron Age fort is of national importance and the walk to it begins at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. Dun Deardail sits on a hill overlooking the glen, an ideal defensive location, and is thought to have been built around 700 BC. At that time the glen would have looked very different to the view we get today with the surrounding slopes densely covered with trees. Nevis Landscape Partnership, AOC Archaeology & Forestry Commission Scotland have big plans for Dun Deardail including another attempt at understanding the vitrification process by carrying out the process on a purpose-built replica rampart.
Uamh Shomhairle or Somerled’s Cave is associated with countless tales and legends. It lies just above Blar Bhan Farmstead but if you’re planning to explore this cave you’ll need to be careful. The entrance is hard to find and is best approached from above and to the side, it then opens up to a chamber ranging from six to fifteen feet high. At the far end are two passages one of which goes underground. Somerled’s Cave is said to have provided crucial refuge for Glen Nevis Camerons on at least two occasions; once after the massacre of the clan at Dun Dige by the Mackintoshes and again when Glen Nevis House was raided by Cumberland’s troops in 1746.
Dun Dige is a medieval earthwork near Glen Nevis House. It is believed to have once been the home of the MacSorlie chiefs, a now extinct branch of Clan Cameron. It was from here, so the story goes, that men from Clan Chattan took their dreadful and bloody revenge on Clan Cameron. The word dige is the Gaelic form of dyke which is either a dyke or a wall.