Ancient Monuments

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Ardacheranmor, motte 190 m north of

A Scheduled Monument in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0374 / 56°2'14"N

Longitude: -5.2021 / 5°12'7"W

OS Eastings: 200613

OS Northings: 687346

OS Grid: NS006873

Mapcode National: GBR FDJR.PWH

Mapcode Global: WH1KL.2J21

Entry Name: Ardacheranmor, motte 190 m N of

Scheduled Date: 18 October 2006

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11102

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Kilmodan

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire


This monument is a motte, probably dating from between 1050 and 1300 AD. It is a tree-covered rectangular mound with artificially-scarped banks standing on the W bank of a river, near the mid point of Glendaruel. Another motte is situated 500m to the N.

The flat summit area is up to 6m high, measuring 28m NW-SE and expands in width from 12m at the W to about 18m to the E. The E side is protected by the river. The S and W sides are surrounded by the remains of a broad wet ditch, which may have once been visible to the north, its southern extent is partly circumscribed by a counterscarp bank and a break on the W may indicate an entrance.

At the NW end of the summit there are low turf-covered remains of a small rectangular building measuring internally 6m NE-SW by 3m. A hollowed area towards the centre of the platform appears to mark the position of a similar structure measuring about 12m by 5m. The buildings may be of late medieval date.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon bounded to the SE by a river, to include the motte, ditch, counterscarp bank to its south and any related archaeological deposits, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

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

Intrinsic characteristics: This monument is a good 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 sits within 500m of another motte, which may indicate that one replaced the other, or that they were situated on the border between two territories. Its wide views show it to have been sited in 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 N. Distributions of low flat mottes with halls on the summit, like this example, have parallels in Ulster, but not the rest of Ireland where they are conical.

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 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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