Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Doune, motte, Rothiemurchus

A Scheduled Monument in Badenoch and Strathspey, Highland

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Latitude: 57.1663 / 57°9'58"N

Longitude: -3.8435 / 3°50'36"W

OS Eastings: 288613

OS Northings: 809885

OS Grid: NH886098

Mapcode National: GBR J9WS.83V

Mapcode Global: WH4J6.X4XM

Entry Name: Doune, motte, Rothiemurchus

Scheduled Date: 9 November 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9336

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Duthil and Rothiemurchus

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Badenoch and Strathspey

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises an elongated mound traditionally held to be the site of a castle of the Comyn family.

The mound is a natural fluvio-glacial hillock rising above the flat flood plain of the River Spey, and close to a crossing point. At some time in the past it has been sculpted to provide a flat top and a flanking ditch (which survives on the NW and W) with access causeway approaching from the NNE.

It is possible that the former castle, whose existence is not well documented but was probably a successor to nearby Loch an Eilean, may have replaced earlier structures on the same site. The surface of the flat summit of the mound was once again levelled in the late 19th century, removing all visible trace of early remains. Nonetheless, considerable sub-surface potential survives.

The area to be scheduled is approximately oval on plan, defined by the foot of the slope of the mound. It measures a maximum of 170m NE-SW by 110m. It is edged on the W and SW by an estate road and on the S by the back walls of ancillary buildings to the Doune, the inhabited house which is the vanished castle's successor. These features are excluded from scheduling. The area is indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the site of an early residence of one of medieval Scotland's leading families, and for the potential it contains for evidence relating to medieval and possibly earlier fortified settlement.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 80 NE 33.


Welsh, T. C. (1993) 'Rothiemurchus estate (Duthil & Rothiemurchus parish): survey', Discovery Excav Scot, 42.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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