Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Brochel Castle and chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Eilean á Chèo, Highland

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 57.4424 / 57°26'32"N

Longitude: -6.0268 / 6°1'36"W

OS Eastings: 158468

OS Northings: 846285

OS Grid: NG584462

Mapcode National: GBR C9H1.Q8D

Mapcode Global: WGZ84.D6BD

Entry Name: Brochel Castle and chapel

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5414

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel; Secular: castle

Location: Portree

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Eilean á Chèo

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument consists of the remains of Brochel Castle which are probably of fifteenth to sixteenth century date, and the footings of a small chapel to the NE of the castle.

The strongly-built tower is thought to have been built by Calum Garbh (MacGillichalium) the youngest son of the ninth Macleod chief of Lewis. It occupies a conglomerate plug on the E coast of the island of Raasay. The castle, built on two levels of the rock plateau, measures about 30m N-S by 27.5m E-W. The walls are about 1.5-2m thick and are made of roughly coursed sandstone and basalt bonded with strong shell-lime mortar. The steep approach to the castle is from the seaward (E) side. Its entrance survives though in a fragmentary condition. An entrance passage with a rock-cut "sentry-box" in the N wall leads into a small inner courtyard. The lower portion of the plateau is divided into three sections: the courtyard; the square SW tower which held the kitchen and stairway to the upper level; and the trapezium-plan SE tower. The upper portion of the rock holds a small keeled tower with a garderobe. To its E are the foundations of a rectangular tower which has been of three storeys. The walls of the chapel built of basalt and sandstone with lime mortar are reduced to c.0.5m. Its internal dimensions are 6m NW-SE by 3m NE-SW with walls

0.5m thick. The SE end has almost gone and there are no openings or features.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 55m NNW-SSE by 50m ENE-WSW, to include the castle and chapel, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as it is a well preserved example of a substantial castellated structure which was the chief residence of the Raasay Macleods until the 17th century. Brochel is a rare survival on Raasay, where the later tower-house belonging to the Macleods at Clachan was demolished after 1745, and an expression of ingenuity and architectural tenacity in the utilisation of a rock-pinnacle as a defensive site. In addition the castle has the potential to provide evidence both above and below ground which may contribute to our understanding of defensive architecture, construction methods, clan history and tradition, and material culture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NG54NE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.