MHG1308 - Dirlot Castle


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Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Dirlot Castle (NR) (remains of) OS 6" map, (1963)

Remains of Dirlot Castle occupy N end of a steep-sided,
isolated rock beside Thurso River some two miles S of Westerdale. The keep has been very small, measuring some 18ft x 10ft within walls 6.5ft thick and now some 3-4ft in height. It occupies full extent of N end of the rock, while S portion of summit, measuring some 40ft x 24ft, has formed a courtyard, around which remains of a parapet are visible. Some 30ft out from base of rock on side away from river are remains of a stony rampart or wall about 6ft in height.
In 15th century, Dirlot belonged to a family of Sutherlands, but in 1499 passed by Royal charter to one Odo alias Y Makky.
C Cordiner 1780; R Gordon 1813; J T Calder 1887; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1984.

Remains of Dirlot Castle are as described by RCAHMS (1911). The outer rampart is 25.5m long by 6.0m broad and 2.3m high.
Visited by OS (W D J) 11 April 1961.

No change. Visited by OS (W D J) 11 April 1961.

Cordiner, C, 1788, Remarkable Ruins, and Romantic Prospects, of North Britain, 83; illust. (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2060.

Weber, H (ed), 1813, Genealogical history of the Earldom of Sutherland by Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, 80 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2273.

Calder, J T, 1887, Sketch of the civil and traditional history of Caithness from the tenth century, 99 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2014.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 30, No. 94 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Paul, J B (ed.), 1984, Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum. The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, 1424-1513. Volume 2 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2683.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 1261 4864 (300m by 300m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND14NW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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