MHG390 - Berriedale Castle


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Berriedale Castle (NR) (remains of) OS 6" map, (1964)

On a tongue of rock projecting across mouth of the Berriedale River are remains of Berriedale Castle. The promontory on which the castle stood has been cut off from the high ground in rear of it by a deep ditch across the neck. There has been a double row of buildings along the promontory separated by a narrow courtyard, and whole enclosed by a wall of enceinte, still partly traceable. The remains are very scanty.
Berriedale Castle belonged in 14th century to Rannald or Reginald Cheyne, thereafter passing through marriage to Sutherlands and subsequently to Oliphants. 1526 Andrew Oliphant sold property to his uncle, Laurence, Lord Oliphant, and in 1606 his successor sold Berriedale etc to the Earl of Caithness.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; W Macfarlane 1906-8; RCAHMS 1911.

Berriedale Castle: Fragments of a massive enceinte wall (2.5m thick) can be traced here and there all round the promontory, but mostly on W side. A turf-covered retangular foundation, 14 by 4.2m, lies on E side abutting the cliff. On W side, the footings of a range of buildings, 0.8m high, exist, at least three compartments being noted amid the rubble and grass. A small gatehouse, some 3.4m square, existed at S end, but only footings, 0.2m high, remain. On N side of the rock-cut ditch are the remains of an abutment of a bridge which crossed the 6m wide gully. About 20m E of gatehouse, and at a lower level, are the remains of a building with an apsidal-ended W end, 1m high. It was about 12m long by 3.5m broad, only a fragment of N wall remaining, 3.5m long by 1m thick and 0.5m high. E end terminates abruptly in a rock face.
Visited by OS (J L D) 14 June 1960.

As described. Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R L) 7 March 1968.

Special survey carried out by RCAHMS1980.

Berriedale Castle is as reported and illustrated by the previous field investigators. Visited by OS (J M) 24 November 1982.

East Caithness Local Plan, May 1987: P115/6.21. Harbours, Piers and Jetties.
POLICY - The Council will continue to encourage, and where possible, support a continuing programme of work to harbours.
Visitor Facilities Proposed.
J Aitken : 23/05/01.

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred ND 1208 2242 (82m by 92m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND12SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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