Achadunan Motte

Achadunan Motte Details

Achadunan, mound and flat bottomed marshy ditch of motte on riverside site

  • Closest To: Cairndow, Inveraray
  • Access: S.O.A.C. Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NN200135

The mound at Achadunan is a glacial feature rising about 6 metres above the river terrace it looks over, and sits in a field on the south-eastern side of the River Fyne. There is no public access to the mound, although there is a private road along the opposite end of the field. Around the landward side of the mound, a semicircular flat bottomed ditch some ten metres wide protects it; this is now shallow and marshy. The mound itself is about 28 metres long, but is narrow, much of the summit being no more than 2 metres wide, and the river side slopes sharply – indicative of river erosion. As the river turns a sharp 90 degrees here, this would be perfectly feasible, but in the absence of any archaeology, the true nature of the site remains to be confirmed.

There is no detailed history of the site, which is presumed to be a motte on the basis that much of it has been washed away by the Fyne, and the regularity of the ditch. Although Achadunan was separated from the Ardkinglas estate decades ago, it may be presumed that to a certain extent the history is similar to that of Ardkinglas. As might be expected, from the latter 14th century it was held by a branch of the Campbell family, but even at this date the motte would not have been in use. The Campbells of Lochawe, the next sea loch over, gained their ascendancy at the cost of the MacDougalls of Lorn under Robert Bruce, which suggests that the mound may have been a defensive site of the MacDougalls or their retainers in the 13th century. If so it was probably burned out in the Bruce period. Certainly it can be considered to guard Glen Fyne, strategically significant for access across the mountains, but beyond this little can be said.

HES Canmore database entry

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