Scheduled Monument

Eilean Ghruididh,castle,Loch MareeSM6182

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

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.

Summary

Date Added
16/03/1995
Supplementary Information Updated
26/02/2021
Type
Secular: castle; domestic buildings
Local Authority
Highland
Planning Authority
Highland
Parish
Gairloch
NGR
NG 95163 69280
Coordinates
195163, 869280

Description

The monument consists of a natural island, fortified by an enclosure wall, forming an approximate rhomboid on plan, which lies about 150m from the S shore of Loch Maree.

The natural bedrock, visible around the shores of the island, supports a stone wall enclosing an area measuring approximately 36m E-W by 44m N-S along the diagonal axes of the quadrangle. The wall revets and runs along a natural rocky bank around the island. The enclosure wall is of rubble construction, well-coursed from roughly- squared stones apparently set in a clay mortar.

It is approximately 1m thick and, including the external revetment, stands to a height of over 1.5m in places. The area enclosed forms a level plateau at a higher level than the outer side of the enclosure wall, and acted as a courtyard. Towards the S corner of the courtyard lies a roughly-square, sunken, stone-walled pit approximately 5.5m square and over 1m deep. The stone lining remains to a height of 4 or 5 courses for most of the wall circuit.

The fortification, called a castle, is considered to have been a stronghold of the MacBeaths, who are presumed to have come here from Assynt during the 13th century, and after their ousting from the area by the MacLeods around 1430 it may have passed to the latter family. The MacLeods themselves had lost control of the area by about 1513. The site may well have earlier origins and have acted as the natural equivalent of a crannog.

It is similar to sites elsewhere called duns, and is similar to several such sites in the Uists. The area to be scheduled includes the whole island to the water's edge, as defined in red on the accompanying map. It is irregular on plan and measures a maximum of 75m N-S by 60m.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a fortified residence of probable medieval date which may overlie earlier remains. Study of its remains has the potential to contribute to our knowledge of medieval fortification and military architecture and domestic life in the Scottish Highlands during the medieval period.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NG 96 NE 1.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 22/04/2024 00:17