The Dunyvaig Project

Extract From Islay Heritage Website, please click link above:

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 is now planning a 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.

More Gaelic Poetry

October 24, 2018

Here is another example of gaelic poetry from Mara: Is mise Dùn Naomhaig,             I am called Dunyvaig, Tha mi mòr,                           I am big Tha mi casteal,                       I am a castle, Tha mi fuar,                            I am cold, Tha i dorcha,                          It is dark, Tha mi cunnartach,                  I am dangerous, Tha mi dubh agus donn.             I am black and brown.   .   Read more

Dùn Naomhaig Caisteal

October 24, 2018

We have been using our Castle art to create Gaelic Poetry using the vocabulary we have been learning.  Our poems were written as if we were the castle; how we felt, what we looked like.  We wrote the poems out and then used Chatterpix to record our poetry.  Here is Caitidh’s poem: Is mise Dùn Naomhaig,             I am called Dunyvaig, Tha mi làidir, tha mi stoirm,      I am strong, I am stormy, Tha mi dubh… Read more


October 5, 2018

As part of our Dunyvaig topic we have been learning about what castles looked like at that time and some of their key features.  We looked at lots of examples of castles and used what we knew to create our own impressions of Dunyvaig Castle using pen and pencil and oil pastels.  You can see some of the results below. BY HOLLY BY ELLEN BY ORLA Read more

Birlinn Ghoraidh Chróbhain Animation

October 1, 2018

We have been learning the gaelic song Birlinn Ghoraidh Chróbhain as part of our Dunyvaig learning.  Godred Croven was one of the earliest settlers on Islay and probably used Dunyvaig as a base. When the mighty Norwegian King Harold Hardrada was killed in battle in 1066, his Chief of Staff was Goraidh Crobhan (Godred of the white hand), who escaped and made his way to the Island of Islay, where his reputation as a clever… Read more

At a Dig

August 24, 2018

On Monday 20th   August we went to Dunyvaig. We met Darko Markovic who showed us around the site. First he showed us a burned down house, which they said might have been used for fighting.   After that we were shown a rock with a hole in it which was filled with water. They thought it might have been for taking shells off scallops. Then we went to the front of the Dunyvaig castle where… Read more

Dunyvaig Artifacts

August 22, 2018

On Monday 20th August P6/7 from Port Ellen went to Dunyvaig castle. It was a really fun adventure and we saw lots of artifacts. The first they showed us was a piece of a cannon ball. They passed around little bones in a bag and there was three other bags, in the next bag was a piece of pottery the pottery had a wavy pattern on it. In the next bag there was very fragile shells so we… Read more