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Inchmurrin Castle, castle and kiln-barn

A Scheduled Monument in Lomond, West Dunbartonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0419 / 56°2'31"N

Longitude: -4.6133 / 4°36'47"W

OS Eastings: 237304

OS Northings: 686310

OS Grid: NS373863

Mapcode National: GBR 0K.R7LC

Mapcode Global: WH3N4.3DGJ

Entry Name: Inchmurrin Castle, castle and kiln-barn

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6576

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Kilmaronock

County: West Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Lomond

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire

Description

The monument consists of the remains of a castle, documented from 1393, together with the remains of a kiln-barn which stands to the N of the castle ruins.

The castle stands on a rock outcrop with steep natural slopes to the NW and SE. The main block of the castle, with walls built of mortared rubble, measures 36m NE-SW by 10m NW-SE, within ditches a short distance to the NE and the SW. There are traces of other structures, and possibly of the enclosure wall of a small courtyard, between the main block and the SW ditch. The main block of the castle is divided into 3 rooms.

Fragments of the NW and SE walls remain upstanding to a significant height, but the window in the NW wall and the masonry immediately surrounding it appear to have been reconstructed in relatively modern times, although the slit opening at its base appears authentic. The remaining masonry of the SE wall contains a blocked window apparently of medieval date, together with indications of a projecting stair-turret, 2.8m in diameter.

The castle was described as 'newly erected' in the late 14th century, and was probably constructed for Duncan, 8th Earl of Lennox, whose principal seat was at Balloch Castle at the S end of Loch Lomond. The castle is likely to have served as a hunting lodge for the deer park established on the island by King Robert I in the early part of the century, and it is therefore possible that there was some residence on this site before the construction of the present remains. The castle was in use at least into the 16th century, but was described as being ruinous in 1724.

To the N of the NW ditch of the castle are the remains of a rectangular dry-stone building with a circular corn-drying kiln at its SE corner, standing on a levelled rectangular platform. The building measures c.8m N-S by a maximum of 4m E-W and is presumably a kiln-barn. Its period of construction and use may post-date the castle.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures approximately 80m NE-SW by a maximum of 25m NW-SE, as defined in red on the accompanying map. It extends 5m to the SW of the SW ditch of the castle and 15m to the NE of the NE ditch, so as to include the kiln-barn. It also extends 5m to the NW and SE of the walls of the main block of the castle. It includes the castle, its ditches and the kiln-barn, together with an area in which evidence for their construction and use may survive. It excludes the above-ground structure of modern fences.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a castle apparently built during the late-14th century, a period which saw the development of the archetypal Scottish castle, the tower house. It may have succeeded other settlement on the site, and occupation of the site may have continued in later years on a lower social scale, with agricultural activities. It has the potential to provide evidence relating to medieval defensive architecture and domestic life, and the medieval and post-medieval agrarian economy of the Loch Lomond area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NS 38 NE 6.

References:

Baker, F. 'Loch Lomond Islands Survey: An Archaeological Assessment' 107-11.

Donaldson, G. 'Scottish Kings'.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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