Scheduled Monument

Eilean Donnan, remains associated with Castle DonnanSM7575

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort), Secular: castle
Local Authority
NG 88130 25853
188130, 825853


The monument consists of the remains associated with the medieval castle of Eilean Donnan and its predecessors.

The majority of the Castle was rebuilt in the early decades of the twentieth century but the rest of the island appears to have been little disturbed. There is clear indication of the remains of man-made structures to the N of the present castle. The whole island though, being small, is likely to retain concentrated evidence of its history of occupation.

The area to be scheduled includes the entire island with the principal exclusion of the present castle itself. Also excluded are the terrace between the SW wall of the Castle and sea and the above-ground structures of the MacRae War Memorial, the slipway and the various flood-lights. The area is irregular in shape and measures approximately 120m N-S by 80m at its greatest extent, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it is a site with a long history of occupation. Reports of vitrified material and shell middens point towards a prehistoric settlement while the 13th-century castle suggests similarities with other sites such as Eilean Tioram in Moidart.

The castle was the main social and political focus for Kintail throughout the later Middle Ages and was still habitable until 1719, when it was involved in the abortive Jacobite rising. The monument is of interest in the study of settlement and defence in the Highlands and Islands throughout this long period.



RCAHMS records the monument as NG 82 NE 3.


Hume, J. (1977) The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, ii, 290.

MacGibbon & Ross (1899) Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, iii, 82-85.

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: 22/01/2019 18:36