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Caisteal Eoghainn a' Chinn Bhig, crannog

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.4087 / 56°24'31"N

Longitude: -5.8413 / 5°50'28"W

OS Eastings: 163119

OS Northings: 730670

OS Grid: NM631306

Mapcode National: GBR CCYS.C4M

Mapcode Global: WGZF8.75NW

Entry Name: Caisteal Eoghainn a' Chinn Bhig, crannog

Scheduled Date: 4 February 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10535

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: crannog (with post-prehistoric use)

Location: Torosay

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a crannog, or artificial islet, known as Caisteal Eoghainn a' Chinn Bhig, which dates from at least the 16th century AD.

The monument lies some 70m from the N shore of Loch Sguabain, at approximately 130m OD. The islet measures about 15m NE-SW by 30m NW-SE at its base, and has steep stone-covered sides which break at an angle of 20 degrees from the surrounding loch bed. The upper platform of the islet, measuring 11m NE-SW by 24m NW-SE, stands 3.5m above the surrounding loch bed. The upper platform is enclosed by the remains of a drystone perimeter wall, 3m wide on average. The wall stands about 0.5m high in the SE part of the islet.

The northern part of the islet is occupied by the remains of a circular structure, measuring c.5m by 5.9m, with well-defined sections of walling standing up to six courses (c.2m) high. The wall thickness varies between 1.3m and 2m, with the most substantial section facing the near shore of the loch. The interior of the structure measures c.2m by 3m.

The name Caisteal Eoghainn a' Chinn Bhig means "the Caisteal of Ewen of the little head". Ewen, a historical figure, was the son of John Og, 5th MacLean of Loch Buy, who lived some time in the second quarter of the 16th century, when the site was described by a contemporary chronicler as a place of "inhabited strength". Recent survey has suggested that the site might have prehistoric origins. It also identified the possible remains of a causeway linking the NE side of the site to Loch Sguabain's shore.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to survive. It is sub-rounded in shape with maximum dimensions of 52m NNE-SSW by 38m transversely, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of later medieval settlement and economy, and may contain information relating to earlier prehistoric settlement and economy. Its importance is enhanced because of its environmental potential: rare organic material (wood, leather, plant remains) are often preserved on waterlogged sites such as crannogs.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 53 NE 1.

Photographic Bibliography:

OS 1976 Ref: A77646.


Holley, M. W. (2000) The Artificial Islets/Crannogs of the Central Inner Hebrides. British Archaeological Reports, BAR British Series 303, Oxford.

MacLean, J. P. (1923) History of the Island of Mull: Vol. 1. F. H. Jobes and Son, Greenville.

Monro, D. (1549) A description of the Western Isles of Scotland. In Macleod, D. J. (ed.) 1994, A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland: Circa 1695. Birlinn, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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