Ancient Monuments

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Ormiclate Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 57.2603 / 57°15'37"N

Longitude: -7.4091 / 7°24'32"W

OS Eastings: 73999

OS Northings: 831815

OS Grid: NF739318

Mapcode National: GBR 893J.M5K

Mapcode Global: WGV3Q.5S40

Entry Name: Ormiclate Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 October 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8513

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: South Uist

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument to be scheduled comprises Ormiclate (or Ormaclett, Ormacleit) Castle. This was built in 1701 as the residence of Ailean, chief of Clan Ranald. It was burnt out in 1715 and never rebuilt.

The building is unfortified and consists of a two-storey house with an attic, T-shaped in plan. The main block measures overall some 21 by 7.6m, and the wing 6.4 by 6.1m, projecting south-eastwards. The main block is divided internally into two unequal parts, the larger of which had probably been further subdivided by timber partitions and provided with a stair.

The masonry is harled rubble, with freestone dressings. The gables are steeply pitched. The upper windows have splayed jambs and lintels with slightly curved soffits. The position of the entrance is represented by a wide gap in the north wall, above which is an armorial panel.

The building faces north-west on to a courtyard, which is enclosed on the south-west by an earlier range containing a kitchen. The masonry is of harled rubble with dressings of freestone.

The area to be scheduled is T-shaped, measuring overall about 24m WSW-ESE by 17m transversely, and includes the remains of the house as described together with a zone extending about 2m from its outer wall-face, but excluding the building that abuts its west corner and other abutting structures as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents a rare survival of a prestigious high-class Hebridean dwelling whose dates of construction and abandonment are precisely known. Its significance is enhanced by the historical circumstances of its destruction and abandonment in 1715 on the eve of the battle of Sherrifmuir, in which its builder, Ailean MacDonald, was mortally wounded.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NF 73 SW 1.


Pringle, D. (ed.) (1994) The Ancient Monument of the Western Isles (Edinburgh), 35.

RCAHMS (1928) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, Edinburgh, 107-8, No. 370.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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