MHG12255 - Castle? Eilean Assynt


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CASTLE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) PRISON (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC12NE 1 1954 2502.
Castle (NR) (remains of) Os 6"map, (1967)

A castle or fortalice on Isle of Assint was granted in 1343 to Torkyll M'Cloyd of Lewis by David II, together with grants of certain lands in Assynt. It appears to have been included in subsequent grants of land, particularly in grant of 1511. In 1585 it was beseiged by Houcheon MacKay of Strathnaver in interests of Donald Neilsone, and defended by Neil Houcheonsone, then ruler of district, but the seige was raised by Alexander, Earl of Sutherland. In 1646 it was beseiged by Clan Kenzie and held by same Donald Neilsone, then laird of Assint, but the seige was abandoned. (Shown on map in
OPS 1855.) OPS 1855; R Gordon 1813.

The island shown as Isle of Assint on OS 6" is a small, low-lying islet, measuring about 30m by 15m and showing no trace of a building. In three places, however, there are traces of very crude dry stone walling with a maximum height of 1.5 m. This seems to have been constructed as a retaining wall around edge of islet and in no place does it project above upper surface.
The existence of a castle or fort of conventional type on such a small, low-lying island must be considered doubtful. It may be that it was used as a place of temporary refuge. There is a local tradition that the island was once used as a prison and Miss Munro (Margaret Munro, Old Post Office) can remember a wall round the edge, traces of which have been described.
Visited by OS (E G) 23 May 1962.

Eilean Assynt (OS 6" 1967) is generally as described by the previous field investigator, although the tumbled remains of the wall survive on all but the rocky W side. No entrance or landing is evident. The construction of the wall and placement around the perimeter of the islet resembles that on Eilean nam Faoileag in Loch Brora (NC80NE 8).
Visited by OS (J B) 12 August 1980.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 1954 2501 (300m by 300m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC12NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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