Scheduled Monument

Eilean Donnan, remains associated with Castle DonnanSM7575

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
Supplementary Information Updated
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 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: 18/06/2024 09:24