Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Police investigating unauthorised excavation of Western Isles Iron Age dun

Dun Torcuill
Dun Torcuill

Police are probing the unauthorised excavation of a Iron Age broch in the Western Isles – considered one of the best preserved examples of its type.

Dun Torcuill sits on an uninhabited island on a loch on North Uist dating back thousands of years.

Anyone convicted of the offence could face up to two years in jail.

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland (HES) said: “Dun Torcuill is an archaeological site of national importance, and is protected as a scheduled monument.

“Unauthorised works on sites such as Dun Torcuill are illegal, and can seriously damage and disturb both upstanding and buried archaeological deposits.

“We would urge anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Police Scotland.”

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron added: “This news is deeply dismaying and I very much hope that those responsible are held to account.

“North Uist has a wealth of archaeological remains and we have a duty to do everything possible to ensure that they are safeguarded for the future.”

As a scheduled monument, Dun Torcuill is legally protected and recognised as being of national importance.

Officers are liaising with Historic Environment Scotland to establish the full circumstances.

The damage reported to police on October 22 is described as the clearance of tumbled stone from the site.

Sergeant Gavin McDevitt, of Lochmaddy Police Station, said: “Damaging or removing any part of a scheduled monument is a criminal offence.

“In this instance, there is the potential for destabilisation of the monument, and/or the loss of archaeological deposits previously protected by the tumbled stone.”

He added: “It is an offence under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 to undertake works without Scheduled Monument Consent.”

The penalties for offences under the Act are considerably higher than those for damage to property or vandalism offences, with fines ranging up to £50,000 or prison sentences of up to two years.

Sgt McDevitt added: “Police Scotland and HES are working closely to investigate this report and we are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has visited the monument within the last six months.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

Already a subscriber? Sign in