Scheduled Monument

Loch nam Bat, still 1790m N of Wester BalnagrantachSM11458

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Industrial: distilling
Local Authority
Urquhart And Glenmoriston
NH 49331 33354
249331, 833354


The monument comprises an illicit whisky still, between 250 and 100 years old, situated in wooded moorland and hidden tight into a shallow rocky gully which drains into the nearby loch.

The still consists of a sub-rectangular drystone structure, measuring 5.9 m from NE to SW by 2.7 m transversely, with two entrances to the SE. The walls are 0.9 m thick and 0.8 m high. A stone platform occupies the NE end of the interior, and the NW wall incorporates a recess measuring 2.2 m in depth by 1.5 m in breadth.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the still, to include the still and an area around in which evidence associated with its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The monument consists of an upstanding structure, indicating a good degree of preservation. Despite the development of surrounding woodland, subsequent landuse as moorland and its close relationship with water means that there is high potential for further associated archaeological deposits to be preserved. Its location, beyond but not too far from settlement, hidden on broken, heathery moorland near running water, in an environment which would have provided the fuel and other resources necessary for the illicit distilling of whisky, is typical of this class of monument.

Contextual characteristics: By their hidden nature, illicit stills have proved hard to identify in the archaeological record; only 23 have been identified throughout Scotland, and few others may survive. However, they played an important role in the construction and reproduction of the identities and mentalities of West Highland farming, and later crofting communities, occupying a place at the centre of small-scale acts of resistance against Improvement ideologies and government legislation, and providing a vital economic cruck to support disenfranchised subsistence-farming populaces.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a rare and well-preserved example of a monument of its class. While the artefact of the metal still may no longer be present, the architectural accoutrements that housed it and the malting floor, as well as related organic materials are likely to be preserved. It has the potential to inform future research into the local methods of illicit distilling as well as the role illicit whisky production played within the economies and identities of farming communities in Highland Scotland. Its loss would substantially reduce our ability to understand these issues.



RCAHMS record the monument as NH43SE55.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 07/12/2023 20:07