MHG1252 - Knockinnan Castle


Turf-covered remains of a supposed early 16th-century castle.

Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Built, 16th Century - 1501 AD to 1513 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Knock Innon - Supposed Remains of (NAT) Castle (NR) OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1871)

Knock Innon: supposed remains of castle. A very prominent hill near county road from Wick to S, on which there are foundations of extensive buildings. Believed locally to have been the site of a church or chapel, at any rate parish school was at one time on this hill. Perhaps it may be site of the Castle of Cnocinnon.
Name Book 1872.

Knockinnan Castle is said to have been begun early in C16, and left unfinished after battle of Flodden in 1513. It is not easy to say what building was like when it was entire and plan is in part conjectural due to severely ruined nature of remaining walls. There seems to have been a central keep with thick walls, & numerous extensive buildings forming a double courtyard - whole surrounded with a wall rising from edge of a cliff up to 7ft in height. There appears to be no historical reference to it.
Macfarlane (1906-8) adds (from desc of parish about 1726) that 'at the place designed for the entry to this great building, there was a large broad causeway begun and it is reported that that causeway was carried on to the town of Thurso. That part which was made in the Causeway mire (ND 164 496) is obvious to any who travel that way'.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; W Macfarlane 1906-8; RCAHMS 1911. <1> <2> <3>

The turf-covered remains of a castle situated on summit of a hill known locally as Cnoc Heara, as described and illustrated by MacGibbon and Ross. Footings of a building, some 17 by 4.2m, on a flat spur to S of castle, may be remains of parish school. Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 25 March 1968.

Knockinnan Castle (NR) (remains of) OS 1:10,000 map, (1979)

No change to previous except that suggested remains of parish school are probably footings of traditional crofting long-house.
Visited by OS (J M) 13 October 1982.

The site was Scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland in 2016. <4>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 18075 31504 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SE
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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