MHG10121 - Helmsdale Castle


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

ND01NW 19 0272 1515.
Helmsdale Castle (NR) (remains) OS 25" map, (1971)

The ruins of Helmsdale Castle occupy a most commanding position on end of a steep bank at S side of mouth of Helmsdale River. The structure was evidently of the L form, with a circular staircase in the angle, but is now a mere shell. The ruin stands to a height of some 24'. The castle is said to have been erected in 1488 by the seventh Countess of Sutherland, and to have been rebuilt and repaired by Sir Alexander Gordon of Navidale in 1616.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; RCAHMS 1911.

The S part of Helmsdale Castle is destroyed by erosion: the remainder is in danger of collapsing.
Revised at 1/2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 20 February 1968.

This castle is now totally destroyed. A monumental stone has been placed in car park near the site. It bears the inscription 'Helmsdale Castle was built near here in 1488. The ruins were removed in 1970 to make way for the new road and bridge'.
Visited by OS (J B) 24 June 1976.

MacGibbon, D and Ross, T, 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, Vol. 5, 294; plan (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2442.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 104, No. 306 (Text/Report). SHG2657.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0272 1515 (25m by 25m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND01NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

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