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Donald's Isle, Loch Doon, settlement 750m SSW of Lamdoughty Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Doon Valley, East Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.2401 / 55°14'24"N

Longitude: -4.3695 / 4°22'10"W

OS Eastings: 249440

OS Northings: 596550

OS Grid: NX494965

Mapcode National: GBR 4M.CVNF

Mapcode Global: WH3S3.VKG6

Entry Name: Donald's Isle, Loch Doon, settlement 750m SSW of Lamdoughty Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8616

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated and townships

Location: Straiton

County: East Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Doon Valley

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument consists of the excavated remains, and site of, a medieval settlement with two substantial drystone buildings, and evidence for several other more fragmentary structures. The site was situated on a natural island, which has altered in its extent with changing water levels. The monument is now usually submerged, due to the level of the loch being artificially raised, and is only visible at times of extreme low water.

The remains of two rectangular buildings stand on the highest point of Donald's Isle. The buildings are of drystone construction with walls 0.8m thick, standing to a maximum height of 0.8m. The larger building measures 14m by 3.6m internally and has an entrance in the middle of its W side, and may represent a 13th or 14th century hall house.

Attached to this structure on the north is a secondary walled structure, and further to the north there is evidence of a timber building in the form of a horse-shoe setting of stones and many flat-headed iron nails. The smaller drystone building measures 6m by 3m internally and has an entrance in its W end. A setting of stones, apparently springing from the NW corner of the main structure, enclosed the complex except on the SW.

Access to the island was probably gained on the NW where a passageway has been cleared through the boulders of the beach deposit. Excavations carried out between 1933 and 1936 showed that the buildings may overlie earlier structures. Although substantially excavated, further archaeological deposits may be expected to survive.

The area to be scheduled is circular in shape, with a diameter of 60m to include the two upstanding drystone structures, the associated drystone walls, the causeway, and an area around it, within which associated remains are expected to survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the site of a relatively well-preserved 13th or 14th-century domestic site which has the potential to contribute further to our understanding of such medieval domestic structures, their social history and material culture. The site is undefended apart from its island location, and represents a rare survival of what must have been a relatively common settlement type.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NX 49 NE 1.


Ansell, M. (1969) 'Donald's Isle, Medieval complex and Mesolithic materials', Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 1969, 12.

Blaeu, J. (1654) Theatrum Orbis Terrerum, sive Atlas Novus, Vol. 5; Scotice et Hibernia, Amsterdam, (The northern part of Carrick).

Fairbairn, A. (1937) Excavation of a medieval site on Donald's Isle, Loch Doon, Ayrshire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 71, 1936-7, 323-33.

RCAHMS (1983) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North Carrick, Kyle and Carrick District, Strathclyde Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 17, Edinburgh, 29, No. 205.

Truckell, A. E. and Williams, J. (1967) 'Medieval pottery in Dumfriesshire and Galloway', The Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd Ser, 44, 1966-7, 173.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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