Ancient Monuments

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Clacheranmor, motte east of

A Scheduled Monument in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0422 / 56°2'32"N

Longitude: -5.2027 / 5°12'9"W

OS Eastings: 200602

OS Northings: 687888

OS Grid: NS006878

Mapcode National: GBR FDJR.9MS

Mapcode Global: WH1KL.1DS9

Entry Name: Clacheranmor, motte E of

Scheduled Date: 18 October 2006

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11103

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Kilmodan

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire


This monument is a motte, a castle mound, probably dating from between 1050 and 1300 AD. It is an artificially-improved natural mound standing on the W slope of Glendarel and commanding a wide view of the valley. Another motte is situated 500m to the S.

The mound has steeply scarped flanks, especially on the SE where it slopes down about 15m towards the valley-bottom, and to the W there is a natural gully with a revetted track. The flat-topped summit-area is roughly oval, measuring 30m from NE to SW by 24m, and there is a slight scatter of turf-covered stony debris around much of the perimeter, with what may be facing stones to the S. In the E there is a gap leading down to a lower terrace, possibly marking the position of an entrance

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon bounded to the north and east by a stream, a fence to the south and a road to the NW, to include the motte and any associated archaeological deposits, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The stream, fence and road are to be excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument's archaeological and historical significance is as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: This monument is a small but typical and well-preserved example of a motte, a monument type that is well known throughout S and E Scotland, but only 14 of which are known from Argyll, mostly in Cowal. It is in a typical location on a major route-way through the landscape and on the border between expanding medieval lordships. It has not been excavated and thus has the potential to retain significant information about the date, environment, housing, status and lifestyle of its occupants.

Contextual characteristics: This monument sits next to a possible church site, indicating that it was sited at the centre of a distinct territory belonging to one of the lineages that were competing for ownership of this area in the Middle Ages. It also lies within 500m of another motte, this may indicate that one type replaced the other, or that they were situated on the border between two territories. Its wide views show it to have been designed to occupy a commanding and prominent position in the landscape, revealing the status of its occupants. Future study of this monument has the potential to further our understanding of the role of this class of monuments in the expression and day-to-day functioning of lordships.

Associative characteristics: Situated on the border between western and lowland Scotland this monument has the potential to reveal information about the relationship between Anglo-Norman or feudal ideas about lordship and traditional or Gaelic forms. This is accentuated by the fact that it is very different in form from the motte situated 500m to its S. Distributions of mottes with the characteristics of the type represented by the other motte have parallels in Ulster, but not those in the rest of Ireland (which are conical), and more like this example.

National Importance: This monument is a well-preserved representative of its type, both in form and in landscape setting, but it is situated in a region where they are rare, on the border between regions where different socio-cultural ideas about lordship were expressed. It has the potential to inform future study about the nature of medieval lordship in a local, regional and national context, specifically about the meeting, conflict or blending of Anglo-Norman/feudal and Gaelic/non-feudal societies, and about how lordship was negotiated within the territory in which it is located.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NS08NW 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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