Scheduled Monument

Coroghon Castle,CannaSM6290

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
Supplementary Information Updated
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: other midden deposits, Secular: castle
Local Authority
Small Isles
NG 27971 5539
127971, 805539


The monument consists of a fortified rock stack, used as a refuge since at least the 16th century, with a strongpoint commanding the only ascent, together with an area in which prehistoric midden material has been found.

The rock is ascended by a steep path up the N flank, and the lowest slope of the path is ramped, with a revetment supporting the E (seaward) side. The path reaches the top of the stack through a doorway 0.6m wide near the E end of the fortification. There are no obvious traces of fortification around the other sides of the stack, apart from a rock-cut hollow some 3.5m by 2.0m by 0.3m deep. Although there are no visible remains, it is likely that this was formerly the site of a late prehistoric dun, and in 1991 prehistoric midden material was located some 20m-30m N of the foot of the stack, and undecorated pottery sherds of unknown date have also been found at its foot.

The fortification is roughly rectangular, using a rock face to form part of its S and E walls and with its N wall curved to run along the edge of the rock. The walls are generally 0.7m thick and of rubble masonry with lime mortar. The interior is divided into 2 chambers, the W chamber acting as an entrance passage and the E one, which measures 3m N-S by 2m E-W internally and is connected to the entrance passage by a doorway, having a cellar below. The floor of the E chamber was supported along the E wall on a scarcement. There are gunloops in both the E chamber and its cellar, and these seem integral with the fabric, suggesting a 16th or 17th-century date.

The "heich craig callit Corignan" is mentioned as a refuge in a description written 1577-95, although no mention is made of any building.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape, measuring approximately 85m NW-SE by a maximum of 25m SW-NE, as shown in red on the accompanying map. It includes the top of the rock stack, extending 10m N of the foot of the stack along its N side to include the ramped foot of the access path and an area in which traces of activity associated with the construction and use of the fortification may survive, and extends to the NW to include an area in which prehistoric midden material has been discovered and other traces of prehistoric activity may survive. It excludes the above-ground structure of the modern telecommunications building and the surface of the track.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a very small fortification, apparently of 16th or 17th 'century date and constructed as a place of refuge for the inhabitants of the E end of the island. Its importance is enhanced by the likelihood of earlier settlement remains underlying what is visible. Study of the monument may provide information on the development of fortifications and the use of hand-artillery, as well as on the social structure and domestic economy of the Hebrides in the prehistoric, early modern and late-medieval periods.



RCAHMS records the monument as NG 20 NE 4.


MacGibbon D and Ross T 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, vol. 5, 242.

RCAHMS 1928, Inventory of monuments and constructions in Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, 218, No. 680, Edinburgh.

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

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Printed: 23/06/2024 06:57