MHG45233 - Kinlochaline Castle


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Type and Period (1)

  • PRISON (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

The castle was converted into a dwelling house in 1998. The two main halls on first and second floors were retained and a two-storey timber-framed garret was built within the parapet walk. The whole structure was then rendered with a traditional lime harl.

During renovation work a previously unrecorded pit prison was discovered, contained within E wall at ground floor level. The slightly trapezoidal chamber measures 2.41m long on W side and 2.32m on E side by 0.82m wide and 2.20m high. It is roofed with three large flat slabs and entered by a trap door, 0.46m by 0.70m, through the floor of the guard room on the first floor. The interior of the chamber was completely clean but roots and remains of vegetation at the lowest level suggest that at one time the pit was filled with detritus. This was presumably cleaned out during the previous renovation in 1890’s, after which the floor of the guard room was then sealed with a thin layer of concrete.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004
Extensive reconstruction into dwelling house undertaken by owners in 1998. See SMR associated documents for archaeological reports by Jennifer Robertson, Ardtornish.
AMF, 10.01.01

NM64NE 3 6975 4763.
Kinlochaline Castle (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Kinlochaline Castle: This tower-house occupies N end of a rocky ridge, situated immediately W of point where the River Aline flows into Loch Aline. The original building, probably of 15th century date, was extensively remodelled in the late 16th or early 17th century. It was involved in the warfare between MacLeans and Campbells during the last quarter of the 17th century, and has remained unoccupied since that period. By the middle of the 19th century it was in a state of extreme dilapidation, and an unsympathetic restoration of the masonry was undertaken about 1890, when new floors and a metal roof were fitted. The tower contains three storeys, all originally unvaulted, and measures 13.2m from N to S by 10.5m transversely over walls varying in thickness from 2.5m to 2.8m. It is constructed of rubble masonry; most of the freestone dressings, having been robbed, were replaced by rubble in the late 19th century restoration. The internal masonry of the castle, including that of the second period of construction, shows marks of burning.
The external appearance of the tower is plain, an effect increased by the excessive size of the window-openings as repaired in the late 19th century. In the original arrangement there were separate entrances to the ground and first floors, both in the S wall; the former was blocked up in the second period, and this blocking was renewed in the restoration. Above the entrance there projects a box-machicolation supported on two massive corbels, probably of 15th century date but in re-use. This feature was completely rebuilt in the 19th century, when extensive restoration was also carried out at parapet-walk level. (Full architectural description and history given by the RCAHMS {1980}).
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972.

Kinlochaline Castle: as described.
Visited by OS (NKB) 11 June 1970.

Sources/Archives (83)



Grid reference Centred NM 6975 4763 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM64NE
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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