MHG3783 - Castle Heather


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH64SE 3 6778 4260.

(NH 6778 4260) Supposed site of Castle (NR)
OS 6"map, (1938)

This is supposed to be the site of the Castle mentioned in the Statistical Account as having existed at Castle Leathers. It is there called Castle Bathers, but that is evidently a misprint as no one knows such a name. Traces of a large building have been seen here and there are at present two hollows which appear to be the traces of the ditch. In referring to Castleleathers and Castle-heather, in 1537 the name "Castletown of Lathir" appeared in the list of the Castle lands of Inverness reprinted in the 4th volume of the Spalding Club misellany (1862) and in a manuscript of 1737 giving Major James Fraser's evidence as a witness, the name appears as "Castle Ladderis or Ladders".
Name Book 1868. <1>

The name this castle bears, would be more suitable to a convent of Monks. It is called in English, Castle Bathers, a corruption of the Gaelic name "Caistal nan boirach", that is the castle of the "recluse or retired" a monastery in Gaelic is indifferently termed "Manachinn" the "residence of the monks" or "Leoirnamanach" the" retreat or retirement of the Monks".
OSA 1793

The estate of Castle Leathers was anciently provided with its own keep or tower.
NSA (A Rose, A Clark and R Macpherson) 1839. <3>

The site of the castle is a levelled-off area situated on a gentle N-facing slope. The site is a subrectangular platform measuring c. 40.0m along three sides, and c. 30.0m along the SE side. It is 1-2.0m high. Surrounding it on three sides is a broad ditch varying from c. 20.0m. Wide on the east side to c. 80m. On the NW. The counterscarp of the ditch has been ploughed down at the north angle, and the turn is only just discernible. On the SW side is the natural slope to a burn. The site has been used as a dumping ground for field stones and rubbish. No traces of buildings exist on the platform. It is known locally as the site of Castle Heather.
Revised at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (JLD) 27 March 1962.

An air photograph, taken by Jill Harden in 1989, is in Inverness Museum (8904.02 INVMG).
Information from J Harden 1989. <5>

Castle Heather, severely damaged in 1990, was examined by means of eight machine trenches. Two undated post holes were recorded. No trace of defensive ditches was found and the monument is now so truncated as to be considered destroyed. <6> <7>
Sponsor M J Mackenzie

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NH 6778 4260 (90m by 88m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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