MHG12350 - Caisteal Bharraich


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Type and Period (2)

  • TOWER HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) BISHOPS PALACE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

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Full Description

Caisteal Bharraich (NR) OS 6" map (1962)

Castle Varrich or Bhurraich: shattered remains of a small roughly-built tower whose history is unknown although it is said to have belonged to Bishop of Caithness who stayed here on his way from his castle at Scrabster (ND16NW 3) to his property of Balnakiel (NC36NE 4). It appears to have been a house rather than a tower and is probably of late date. It consisted of two storeys with an attic, and probably a parapet. The walls are 4ft 6ins thick and the ground floor was vaulted but the arch has now fallen in. The ground floor was probably used for cattle and horses since there is no stairway to the first floor which was probably reached by a ladder. It had only one apartment.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909

Caisteal Bharraich, a sub-rectangular tower on a rocky knoll. It measures externally 7.5m along the south wall and 6.7m along the other three sides. The wall is 1.7m thick except in the NW corner where it is reduced to 1.4m and is bonded with shell mortar. There are suggestions that it is possibly 16th century part-reconstruction of an earlier tower. To N is a scarp showing traces of walling, which extend NW for 20m from a rock outcrop near the tower to the coastal cliff. Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (JD) 25 April 1960 and (AA) 29 June 1971

No change. Visited by OS (JM) 30 August 1978

Re-scheduled by Historic Scotland, 11/03/02.
See assoc. docs. File.
J Aikten : 16/05/02.

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NC 5807 5674 (10m by 7m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC55NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish TONGUE

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