Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Arkendeith Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Black Isle, Highland

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Latitude: 57.5757 / 57°34'32"N

Longitude: -4.1822 / 4°10'56"W

OS Eastings: 269595

OS Northings: 856061

OS Grid: NH695560

Mapcode National: GBR J81P.WHP

Mapcode Global: WH4FX.QVN7

Entry Name: Arkendeith Tower

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5531

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Avoch

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Black Isle

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument consists of the remains of a small 16th/17th century defensive tower house known as Arkendeith Tower.

The tower, also known as "Airc-Eoin-dubh" (Black John's Ark, or place of safety) is said to have belonged to a Highland reiver. All that survives of this structure is a barrel vaulted basement. The S gable and part of the adjoining W wall survive to a maximum height of 1.6m. The E wall is fragmentary and the N wall has been removed.

The overall dimensions of the ground plan would have been about 6m N-S by 5.5m E-W building over walls approximately 1.2m thick. The masonry is coursed rubble with dressed sandstone used for the windows and entrance. The entrance in the W wall has a draw bar tunnel on the N side and bolt holes for inner and outer doors. The surviving window, grooved for glazing, is in the centre of the S wall.

The interior is overgrown. The area to be scheduled is rectangular and extends 2m from the exterior walls of the building, measuring a maximum of 10m N-S by 9.5m E-W, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as it is an example of a fortified dwelling probably dating from the seventeenth century that provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation and analysis, for defensive architecture, for defensive architecture, social organisation, and material culture during the early post-medieval period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCHAMS records the monument as NH 65 NE 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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