Scheduled Monument

Arkendeith TowerSM5531

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Secular: bastle; tower
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 69598 56064
269598, 856064


The monument consists of the remains of a small 16th/17th century defensive tower house known as Arkendeith Tower.

The tower, also known as "Airc-Eoin-dubh" (Black John's Ark, or place of safety) is said to have belonged to a Highland reiver. All that survives of this structure is a barrel vaulted basement. The S gable and part of the adjoining W wall survive to a maximum height of 1.6m. The E wall is fragmentary and the N wall has been removed.

The overall dimensions of the ground plan would have been about 6m N-S by 5.5m E-W building over walls approximately 1.2m thick. The masonry is coursed rubble with dressed sandstone used for the windows and entrance. The entrance in the W wall has a draw bar tunnel on the N side and bolt holes for inner and outer doors. The surviving window, grooved for glazing, is in the centre of the S wall.

The interior is overgrown. The area to be scheduled is rectangular and extends 2m from the exterior walls of the building, measuring a maximum of 10m N-S by 9.5m E-W, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as it is an example of a fortified dwelling probably dating from the seventeenth century that provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation and analysis, for defensive architecture, for defensive architecture, social organisation, and material culture during the early post-medieval period.



RCHAMS records the monument as NH 65 NE 2.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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 8716 or at


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Printed: 18/04/2019 17:38