We are proud to announce the unveiling of another awesome Brick to the Past model – a minifigure scale LEGO model of Dun Deardail hillfort. The model, which was commissioned by the Nevis Partnership, is now on permanent display at the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, overlooked by the real Dun Deardail on one side and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, on the other.
Dun Deardail is thought to have been built and occupied, perhaps over several periods, between 700 BC and AD 900 and is unusual because the stones that once made up its walls have been vitrified. Vitrification is the process by which stones are fused together at temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius. It is uncertain why vitrification took place, but current theories tend to see it as either an act of aggression following capture or as ‘ritual closure’ at the end of the site’s active life, akin to the destruction of many Neolithic ritual monuments.
Nevis Landscape Partnership have been running an ambitious project to excavate the Dun Deardail. Working closely with Forestry Commission Scotland & AOC Archaeology, they aim to uncover the mysteries surrounding this ancient settlement and have got hundreds of ‘citizen archaeologists’ involved in the work. You can find out more about this on our previous blog on the project.
The LEGO version of Dun Deardail, which contains approximately 35,000 pieces, delved into this research to come up with a layout and appearance that reflects what the hillfort might have looked like early in the first millennium AD.
The model was built by our builder in the north, Dan Harris, who said:
“I've been visiting Glen Nevis and the surrounding area of years to walk and climb, so it's an absolute delight to have been able to build a model of one of its landmarks. It's great to be able to display at one of Scotland's most popular tourist destinations and I hope that the model will encourage people to get out and explore the real hill fort".
The funding to build the model of Dun Deardail was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Highland Council Discretionary Fund.
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