Ancient Monuments

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Orval, deer trap 700m south west of summit cairn, Rum

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 57.002 / 57°0'7"N

Longitude: -6.401 / 6°24'3"W

OS Eastings: 132859

OS Northings: 798713

OS Grid: NM328987

Mapcode National: GBR BBL6.LTZ

Mapcode Global: WGY8Y.N83H

Entry Name: Orval, deer trap 700m SW of summit cairn, Rum

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8179

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: enclosure

Location: Small Isles

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a stone built enclosure and associated linear dykes situated on a hill slope. These represent the surviving traces of a medieval deer trap.

The enclosure lies at the base of a scree-slope and is formed of two parts. A substantial wall up to 2.6m thick and a maximum of 2m high forms an enclosure of about 7.8m by 6m. On the uphill side is a second irregular enclosure, about 6.8m by 5.3m internally. A funnel-shaped area is defined by two stone dykes uphill from the double enclosure and has been partly cleared of scree.

There is a possible recess in the S corner of the larger enclosure and a second possible recess in the NW. Two small rock-built cells lie 2m to the N and 6m to the NNE of this enclosure. A late 18th-century account describes a deer trap on Rum which may represent this site.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan and measures 250m NW to SE, by 230m SSW-NNE, to include the enclosures, linear dykes, area cleared of scree, cells and an area around in which traces of activities associated with the construction and use of the monument may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for its potential to contribute to an understanding of medieval deer hunting on Rum and elsewhere in Scotland. This is a substantial and well-preserved monument, disused well before the late 18th century and probably medieval in date. It forms part of an important complex of related monuments in the western part of the Isle of Rum.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 39 NW 56.


Love, J. A. (1980) 'Deer traps on the Isle of Rum', Deer, Vol. 5, 3, 131-2.

RCAHMS (1983) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Rhum, Lochaber District, Highland Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no. 20, Edinburgh, 25, No. 184.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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