Dunn is used both as a generic term for a small type of hill fort and also for a specific variety of roundhouse. In some areas they are built on any suitable crag or hillock, particularly in the more mountainous regions of Caledonia.

Dunns, as forts, have near vertical ramparts constructed of stone laced with timber, and where this was set on fire (accidentally or on purpose) it forms the vitrified forts where stones have been partly melted, an effect that is still clearly visible.

Dunns, as roundhouses, share many characteristics of brochs (often including galleries and stairs), but are smaller and probably are not very capable of supporting a very tall structure. Examples of this kind of dunn can be found in the Western Isles on artificial islands in small lochs.

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