MHG1906 - Swiney Castle


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Scheduled 9/2003 - HAW 11/2003

ND23SW 2 2315 3396.
Swiney Castle (NR) (Site of) OS 6" map, (1959.

Nothing now remains of this ancient stronghold. All that is to be seen are three grassy mounds. A small piece of wall where road cuts through feature still remains, said to have been a well of keep. Said to have been coeval with Forse Castle and occupied by a branch of Sutherlands of Forse (ONB 1871).
The OSA (1796) lists 'Swinzee' as an old castle on the coast between Forse and Clyth; Forsyth, in an otherwise identical list, gives the name as 'Swingle'.
OSA 1796; Name Book 1871; R O Forsyth 1805-8.

Situated on a steep-sided promontory, Swiney Castle remains as a grass-covered artificial mound protected on its seaward side by a double ditch with a central rampart, and on the landward side by a ditch. The mound, which measures some 18m diameter and 2m high, has traces of masonry protruding from its S side. There is no trace of the walling described in the Name Book (1871)
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R L) 11 March 1968.

RCAHMS survey carried out. DES 1980.

Landslip at the landward end of the peninsula indicates further stonework, probably walling.
C Batey 1982.

A photograph submitted by a website visitor in August 2008 shows stone walling apparently eroding out of the ground at the side of the track north of the castle that leads to the nearby herring station. This is probably the section of wall referred to above. <1>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 2315 3396 (300m by 300m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND23SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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