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Coroghon Castle,Canna

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.0603 / 57°3'37"N

Longitude: -6.4886 / 6°29'19"W

OS Eastings: 127971

OS Northings: 805539

OS Grid: NG279055

Mapcode National: GBR BBC1.W64

Mapcode Global: WGY8J.9SFV

Entry Name: Coroghon Castle,Canna

Scheduled Date: 9 January 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6290

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: other midden deposits; Secular: castle

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument consists of a fortified rock stack, used as a refuge since at least the 16th century, with a strongpoint commanding the only ascent, together with an area in which prehistoric midden material has been found.

The rock is ascended by a steep path up the N flank, and the lowest slope of the path is ramped, with a revetment supporting the E (seaward) side. The path reaches the top of the stack through a doorway 0.6m wide near the E end of the fortification. There are no obvious traces of fortification around the other sides of the stack, apart from a rock-cut hollow some 3.5m by 2.0m by 0.3m deep. Although there are no visible remains, it is likely that this was formerly the site of a late prehistoric dun, and in 1991 prehistoric midden material was located some 20m-30m N of the foot of the stack, and undecorated pottery sherds of unknown date have also been found at its foot.

The fortification is roughly rectangular, using a rock face to form part of its S and E walls and with its N wall curved to run along the edge of the rock. The walls are generally 0.7m thick and of rubble masonry with lime mortar. The interior is divided into 2 chambers, the W chamber acting as an entrance passage and the E one, which measures 3m N-S by 2m E-W internally and is connected to the entrance passage by a doorway, having a cellar below. The floor of the E chamber was supported along the E wall on a scarcement. There are gunloops in both the E chamber and its cellar, and these seem integral with the fabric, suggesting a 16th or 17th-century date.

The "heich craig callit Corignan" is mentioned as a refuge in a description written 1577-95, although no mention is made of any building.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape, measuring approximately 85m NW-SE by a maximum of 25m SW-NE, as shown in red on the accompanying map. It includes the top of the rock stack, extending 10m N of the foot of the stack along its N side to include the ramped foot of the access path and an area in which traces of activity associated with the construction and use of the fortification may survive, and extends to the NW to include an area in which prehistoric midden material has been discovered and other traces of prehistoric activity may survive. It excludes the above-ground structure of the modern telecommunications building and the surface of the track.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a very small fortification, apparently of 16th or 17th 'century date and constructed as a place of refuge for the inhabitants of the E end of the island. Its importance is enhanced by the likelihood of earlier settlement remains underlying what is visible. Study of the monument may provide information on the development of fortifications and the use of hand-artillery, as well as on the social structure and domestic economy of the Hebrides in the prehistoric, early modern and late-medieval periods.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NG 20 NE 4.

References:

MacGibbon D and Ross T 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, vol. 5, 242.

RCAHMS 1928, Inventory of monuments and constructions in Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, 218, No. 680, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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