Scheduled Monument

Ormiclate CastleSM8513

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Secular: house
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
South Uist
NF 73997 31815
73997, 831815


The monument to be scheduled comprises Ormiclate (or Ormaclett, Ormacleit) Castle. This was built in 1701 as the residence of Ailean, chief of Clan Ranald. It was burnt out in 1715 and never rebuilt.

The building is unfortified and consists of a two-storey house with an attic, T-shaped in plan. The main block measures overall some 21 by 7.6m, and the wing 6.4 by 6.1m, projecting south-eastwards. The main block is divided internally into two unequal parts, the larger of which had probably been further subdivided by timber partitions and provided with a stair.

The masonry is harled rubble, with freestone dressings. The gables are steeply pitched. The upper windows have splayed jambs and lintels with slightly curved soffits. The position of the entrance is represented by a wide gap in the north wall, above which is an armorial panel.

The building faces north-west on to a courtyard, which is enclosed on the south-west by an earlier range containing a kitchen. The masonry is of harled rubble with dressings of freestone.

The area to be scheduled is T-shaped, measuring overall about 24m WSW-ESE by 17m transversely, and includes the remains of the house as described together with a zone extending about 2m from its outer wall-face, but excluding the building that abuts its west corner and other abutting structures as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it represents a rare survival of a prestigious high-class Hebridean dwelling whose dates of construction and abandonment are precisely known. Its significance is enhanced by the historical circumstances of its destruction and abandonment in 1715 on the eve of the battle of Sherrifmuir, in which its builder, Ailean MacDonald, was mortally wounded.



RCAHMS records the monument as NF 73 SW 1.


Pringle, D. (ed.) (1994) The Ancient Monument of the Western Isles (Edinburgh), 35.

RCAHMS (1928) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, Edinburgh, 107-8, No. 370.

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

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