Ancient Monuments

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Tor Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.8609 / 56°51'39"N

Longitude: -5.065 / 5°3'54"W

OS Eastings: 213240

OS Northings: 778576

OS Grid: NN132785

Mapcode National: GBR FBWL.6P6

Mapcode Global: WH1FL.5TB6

Entry Name: Tor Castle

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5471

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Kilmallie

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument is Tor Castle, the remains of a small towerhouse of fifteenth or sixteenth century date.The site is thought to have been occupied for defensive purposes from the eleventh century. The castle, allegedly built on the site of Banquo's (Shakespeare's Macbeth) castle was the main residence of the chiefs of Clan Chattan.

It occupies a strong position on a ridge above the River Lochy. Tor is rectangular on plan and measures 9.5m NE-SW by 5m NW-SE within walls 2.2m in maximum thickness. The building, constructed in mortared random rubble, is in a state of advanced decay. No indication of floor levels or evidence of vaulting is apparent.

The NW and SE walls are reduced to under 4m, the SW wall is reduced to its rubble core and the NE wall is fragmentary. There are traces of a newel stair and entrance in the SE wall towards the E angle, and a small rectangular chamber in the N angle. To the N of the castle is an L-shaped portion of low walling which may have been part of a courtyard.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 40m NE -SW by 50m NW-SE, and is defined by the surrounding boundary fence, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a late medieval tower-house which is likely to occupy the site of an earlier fortified residence dating from the eleventh century. As such it provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation, which may contribute to our understanding of medieval defensive architecture, social structure, economy and material culture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NN 17 NW 2.

Reference:

Macfarlane, W. (1906-8) Geographical collections relating to Scotland, in Mitchell, A and Clark, J. T. 3v, 160, 518-19, Edinburgh.

The 'Scot Hist Soc' (1907) Ser 1, 52, 160, 518-9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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