Scheduled Monument

Urquhart CastleSM90309

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
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun, Secular: castle
Local Authority
Urquhart And Glenmoriston
NH 53018 28618
253018, 828618


This monument comprises the remains of a complex Medieval castle on a promontory on the shore of Loch Ness.

The N end of the castle is marked by a 16th-century tower which, although lacking much of its S side still rises to its full height. Other buildings in the castle are not as well preserved as this. They include the great hall and kitchens, a chapel, gatehouse, smithy, dovecot and other buildings of unidentified purpose. Excavation at the S end of the castle has shown the presence of a defensive structure dating from the first millenium AD. The landward side of the castle is protected by a ditch formerly crossed by a drawbidge. At the N end of this ditch is a large kiln. The presence of the kiln next to a large, open, gently sloping area suggests that there was a small settlement beyond the walls of the castle.

The area to be scheduled includes the entire peninsula and an area of the loch running 10m out from the shore. On the landward side the N boundary of the area is defined by a line which runs 30m inland along the fence which starts at the shore approximately 170m NW of the tower house in the castle. The boundary line then runs due S for approximately 300m where it meets another fence line and runs E back to the shore. Excluded from this are those parts of the modern toilet buildings, sited in the ditch, which are above the present ground level. The area is irregular in shape measuring roughly 300m N-S by 170m and is marked in red on the accompanying map.



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Urquhart Castle

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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: 26/05/2024 23:04