Scheduled Monument

Dingwall Castle, 20m SW of The Castle HouseSM9678

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
Secular: castle
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 55318 58999
255318, 858999


The monument consists of the remains of Dingwall Castle, situated in the private garden of The Castle House.

The castle was one of the two Scottish strongholds marked on Matthew Paris' map of 1259. It was first held for the crown by the Mormaer of Ross and in 1291 it was held by William of Bratroft who delivered the fortress to John Balliol on the orders of Edward I. After the reconcilation of Robert I with William, fourth earl of Ross, Dingwall Castle became the seat of the family until the forfeiture of the earldom in 1476, when the castle became the property of the Crown.

James IV, on a number of visits to Tain, stayed at Dingwall Castle and the Crown continued to appoint keepers until 1584 when James VI granted it to Sir Andrew Keith who was subsequently created Lord Dingwall. The castle site was largely levelled in 1818, but was depicted in a town plan published in 1821 as being on an isolated mound about 100 feet in overall diameter, and about 40 feet in diameter across the top.

The remains of the castle are now extremely fragmentary, consisting of a small circular tower about 3.5 m in diameter, standing to a height of about 2.5m, with walls 0.5m thick (this tower may be a later addition, relating to the landscaping associated with the house built after 1818). Attached to the NE side of the tower is a large block of masonry 3m wide and standing to a height of about 3m, and on the north-west side of the tower project the remains of a wall about 1.5m long and 7m high.

To the west of the tower is a large mass of masonry covered with ivy, probably the remains of a wall. This stands to a height of about 3m. About 10m to the SW of the round tower is the entrance to a small underground barrel vault, measuring 5m in length, by about 2m in width and about 1.5m in height.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains mentioned above and an area around them, in which associated remains could be expected to be found. The area is roughly rectangular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 18m NE-SW and 8m transversely as marked in red on the attached map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the last fragments of Dingwell Castle, the seat of the earls of Ross, and a royal castle. The archaeology of this monument has the potential to greatly increase our knowledge about such monuments and the earldom of Ross. The presence of the castle at Dingwall probably accounts for the formation and growth of the burgh of Dingwall.



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 55 NE 4.00.


MacDonald, Polson and Brown, D. A. and J. (1931) The book of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, Orkney and Shetland: descriptive, historical and antiquarian notes, Dingwall, 28-30.

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries', II, 5v, Edinburgh, Vol. 4, 390.

MaeRae, N. (1923) The romance of a royal burgh: Dingwall's story of a thousand years, Dingwall, 48-76.

Mackenzie, W. M. (1927) The medieval castle in Scotland, London, 30.

McInnes, C. T. (1940) 'Calendar of writs of Munro of Foulis 1299-1823', Scot Rec Soc, 72, Edinburgh, Nos. 5, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18, 21.

OSA (1791-9) The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, Sir John Sinclair (ed.), Edinburgh, Vol. 3, 16.

Scottish Burgh Survey (1982) Historic Dingwall: the archaeological implications of development.

RCAHMS (1979) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites an monuments of Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series No. 6, Edinburgh, 30, No. 255.

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: 20/04/2024 04:11