History of Dunadd

“Dunadd, strong hold of Dalriada-kingdom of the Scots”

Dunadd is the one of the most famous historic and most significant archaeological sites in Scotland and one of the most important early medieval sites in Britain. By tradition Dunadd was the capital of the early Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, founded by king Fergus Mor in about AD 500, and the probable site where the kings were inaugurated. Pictish stone carving, mysterious messages in early Gaelic script and the footprints of Dalriadic Kings, all deliver visible evidence of its historic
beginnings; it was here that Scottish Nation was born.

It is a complex fortification, defended by four lines of walling on different levels. These structures appear to have been built about AD 500 and 900. Objects found in excavations show that the site was particularly important around AD 500. It was a centre for fine metal working. The main approach is up rocky defile to the lowest terrace which has a well defined wall. Near the north end is a solidly built wall.  Above this level the walls are more ruinous.

The most remarkable feature is a series of carvings on a rock slab near the summit. There is the figure of a boar, the outline of a foot print, a rock cut, basin and several lines of ogam inscriptions in an unknown language. The basin and foot print may have been used in the inauguration of the kings of Dalriada.”