Ancient Scottish hillfort recreated in LEGO

Dun Deardail hillfort re-created in Lego © BRICK TO THE PAST

Would you like to know what a prehistoric hillfort looked like at the time when it was built and inhabited? Visitors to the west of Scotland can now see a model of the prehistoric hillfort of Dun Deardail, re-created using about 35,000 LEGO® bricks. Commissioned by the Fort William-based environmental group Nevis Landscape Partnership, the model was built by Brick to the Past, a team specialising in historically-themed LEGO® models.

The real hillfort of Dun Deardail was constructed around 2,500 years ago of timber and stone, and stood on a prominent knoll on Sgorr Chalum, a hill overlooking the River Nevis in Glen Nevis. The fort was destroyed in a fire and the heat was so intense that the stones used in the defensive ramparts melted. Ash from the fire was preserved in the peat and from this archaeologists have been able to recreate the layout of the hillfort.

Dun Deardail takes its name from an Irish legend © NEVIS LANDSCAPE PARTNERSHIP

The name Dun Deardail, Derdriu’s Fort, links it to an ancient Iron Age Irish myth called The Sorrow of Derdriu. The legend tells of a chieftain’s daughter who was said to be so beautiful that kings, lords and warriors fought and died trying to win her hand in marriage.

Brick to the Past specialise in creating massive, detailed and meticulously researched historically themed LEGO® models. Dan Harris, of Brick to the Past, started building the model in late January 2018 and the model was finished in mid-August. Mr Harris said: “It’s great to be able to display the model at one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations and I hope that it will encourage people to get out and explore the real hillfort.”

About 35,000 LEGO pieces were used in constructing the model © BRICK TO THE PAST
Location of Dun Dearduil fort © Google Maps

A detailed report of the archaeology and excavations at Dun Deardail can be downloaded as a PDF from The Archaeology of Dun Deardail: An Iron Age hillfort in Glen Nevis

Brick to the Past’s other creations have included Roman mosaics, Hadrian’s Wall and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. More information about their work can be found on their website at

Source BBC News website (August 2018)

Text Alun Harvey

All images are copyrighted.


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