Scheduled Monument

Borve Castle,BenbeculaSM5568

Status: Designated


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

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
Secular: castle; house; tower
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
South Uist
NF 77346 50543
77346, 850543


The monument consists of the ruined Borve Castle, a rectangular keep or hall-house of probabale late 14th-century date.

The castle measures, externally, some 18.9m E-W by 11.3m N-S, with walls which are on average 2.75m thick, narrowing internally at first and second floor level. The remains survive to a maximum height of 9m and show evidence for at least 2 timber floors above a basement. The N wall has almost entirely gone. The main entrance, reached latterly

via a projecting forebuilding, was at the centre of the S wall at first-floor level. The construction is of rubble set in an extremely hard mortar.

The area to be scheduled includes the upstanding remains of the keep and an area around it, which is likely to contain below-ground remains and evidence of structures and activities associated with the period of construction and use of the castle. It measures 100m NE-SW by 90m NW-SE, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as an example of a medieval keep or hall-house, probably of late 14th century date. Its importance is enhanced both by the traditional attribution of its construction to Amie, first wife of John, Lord of the Isles, and by the fact that such constructions are rare in the Western Isles. Furthermore, the building, together with the associated below-ground remains of the site, have the potential through archaeological excavation to shed important light on the political, social, economic and cultural history of the later Middle Ages.



RCAHMS records the monument as NF 75 SE 12.

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: 03/10/2022 05:08