The Bastard, Campbeltown, Argyll

Hillfort / Dun:  OS Grid Reference – NR 7612 1220

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 38722
  2. Dun Bastard

Getting Here

The Bastard on 1869 map
The Bastard on 1869 map

Pretty easy.  From Campbeltown, follow the coastal round south for about 8 miles, past the TV masts on the skyline and the hamlet of Feochaig, where you’ll see the large rounded hill on your left near the coast: that’s The Bastard!  Go onto the hill’s eastern sides and drop down the steep slope towards the large bend in the burn where its remains are on a ridge close to the cliffs overlooking the sea.  The ruins are pretty faint but if you scout around, you’ll find it.

Archaeology & History

I couldn’t believe it when I found this one – so had to get the notes to the site and add what I could find!  When the fellas from the Scottish Royal Commission checked the place in 1960, they described,

“On a narrow shelf halfway down the east flank of the hill named The Bastard there are the remains of a dun…  Oval in plan, the dun measures about 15m by 12m internally and is entered from the east, where a stretch of the outer face is visible. Here the wall is 4m thick on either side of a straight passageway, 0.9m wide, which exhibits no trace of door-checks.”

The Bastard (RCAHMS 1971)

There are other remains a few yards to the southeast of the main structure which are thought to be “remains of an outer wall…about 1.2m in thickness, which has been drawn across the shelf to provide additional protection for the entrance”, more probably from the weather conditions than invasive incoming humans.

To the immediate north we have a mythic-sounding Giant’s Seat (just above the natural arch) and west is the abode of the fairy folk – but I aint checked out the tales behind them yet.


  1. Royal Commission Ancient & Historic Monuments, Scotland, Argyll – Volume 1: Kintyre, HMSO 1971.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian