Ancient Monuments

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Castle Calvay,castle,Calvay,Loch Boisdale

A Scheduled Monument in Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 57.1433 / 57°8'35"N

Longitude: -7.2637 / 7°15'49"W

OS Eastings: 81743

OS Northings: 818122

OS Grid: NF817181

Mapcode National: GBR 89GV.1QW

Mapcode Global: WGW5H.DQ97

Entry Name: Castle Calvay,castle,Calvay,Loch Boisdale

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5853

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: South Uist

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of the remains of a small castle, possibly originally a dun, situated on an islet off Calvay, on the S side of Loch Boisdale.

The islet on which the castle sits was formerly connected to Calvay by a causeway, but this has now almost completely gone. On the landward side a curving wall of irregular thickness and of drystone masonry appears to be the earliest element of the remians: it may be part of a dun. The W, N and NE sides of a polygonal enclosure are

formed by badly mortared walls of rough rubble, in places

incorporating substantial stretches of earlier, unmortared, walling.

The fortification has maximum overall dimensions of 30m SW-NE by 20m. A number of gun-slits are evident, particularly on the W side. There are two main internal buildings, both abutting and incorporating the outer wall. On the SW corner a small square structure some 4m by 4m externally may have been a low tower overlooking the approach from Calvay. On the N side is a bicameral rectangular block some 13m by 6m externally, possibly formed by the eastward extension of a smaller structure.

The remains are too ruinous to be certain about the

phasing of construction. The area to be scheduled consists of the whole of the small islet, above the edge of the tidal rocks: this coincides with the enclosure and its interior, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of a 'castle' created by the adaptation of a pre-existing fortification with the minimum of work, creating a curious mixture of features which offers the potential to examine insular perspectives on the necessary attributes of medieval defensive architecture. The internal areas and walls of the castle may contain important information about the date and modifications of the defences, and about later Iron Age and Medieval material culture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NF 81 NW 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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