Ancient Monuments

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Caisteal Bharraich, Tower

A Scheduled Monument in North, West and Central Sutherland, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.4759 / 58°28'33"N

Longitude: -4.4353 / 4°26'7"W

OS Eastings: 258081

OS Northings: 956753

OS Grid: NC580567

Mapcode National: GBR H6FB.73D

Mapcode Global: WH38D.V745

Entry Name: Caisteal Bharraich, Tower

Scheduled Date: 29 December 1938

Last Amended: 4 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1896

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Tongue

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a small tower house standing upon the summit of a promontory high above the Kyle of Tongue. Its history is unknown although it is said to have belonged to the Bishop of Caithness who stayed here on his way from his castle at Scrabster to his property of Balnakiel. The monument was first scheduled in 1938. On this occasion, an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The tower, measuring externally 7.5m along the south wall and 6.7m along the other three sides, stands to first floor height. It is constructed of random rubble and is bonded in shell lime. The tower appears to have been of two storeys with a single chamber on each floor, perhaps with an attic; the slots for the roof ties still survive. The ground floor, entered from the N, was vaulted, as is demonstrated by the remains of the springing. The ground floor also had a window through the east wall; only the E ingo now survives. The ground floor does not communicate with the first floor, indicating that the first floor had an external doorway. A plan by MacGibbon & Ross (1887-92) shows a first floor doorway through the S wall. However, it is now impossible to confirm this interpretation.

To the N of the tower there is a scarp showing traces of walling, which extend NW for 20m from a rock outcrop near the tower to the coastal cliff.

The area to be scheduled includes the tower house and an area around it that has the potential for the survival of associated archaeology. The area is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 110m from its westernmost point to its easternmost, and 75m from its northernmost to southernmost points, as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography
No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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