MHG45241 - Motte and Bailey - Urquhart Castle


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Drumnadrochit & Fort Augustus Local Plan, Oct. 1991: P13/2.39. Ancient Mons & Arch. Sites.
J Aitken : 24/05/01.
NH52NW 3 5305 2860

For bronze axes from Urquhart Castle, see NH52NW 7.

(NH 5305 2860) Urquhart Castle (NR) (Ruins) Drawbridge (NR) (Remains of) Fosse (NR)
OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1905)

For full description see DoE guide 'Urquhart Castle'.
W D Simpson 1964

A portion of a penannular brooch of c.9th century date from Urquhart Castle is in the NMAS.
Information from C W Phillips

Urquhart Castle is as described and planned by DoE.
Visited by OS (R L) 11 Feburary 1970.

NH 530 286 An archaeological evaluation comprising geophysical survey and trial trenching was undertaken by Headland Archaeology Ltd between the moat and the A82 at Urquhart Castle. The evaluation was designed to investigate the impact of a proposed new visitor centre and car park on any preserved archaeological deposits. The geophysical surveys were undertaken by Archaeological Services WYAS.
The resistivity survey identified a large low resistance linear anomaly running E-W for c 35m and ending abruptly 140m W of the castle moat. A trench was cut across the anomaly and a large medieval clay-lined ditch was identified which measured 9m wide and 2.5m deep. Fragments of pottery dating from between the 13th and 15th centuries were found in the secondary fill, together with a number of medieval iron objects, a circular sharpening stone, a crucible fragment and burnt animal bone. An Early Modern bayonet was also recovered adjacent to the ditch although this is not believed to be associated with the feature. With the exception of one modern ditch no further archaeological features were identified in trial trenches.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
C Moloney 1997

An archaeological excavation was carried out by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) on a gravel terrace overlooking Urquhart Castle in advance of a new car park and visitor center. The aim of the excavation was to investigate any archaeological remains likely to be affected by the development. These include a possible ditch containing locally made medieval pottery, discovered during the evalution carried out in 1997.
GUARD exposed an area of 25m by 20m, centred on the evaluation trench, and uncovered a large square-shaped enclosure with the remains of cobbled surfaces and the stony foundations of structures to the west. In the east part of the enclosure, a large amount of boulders were uncovered which may be the remains of a building.
In the center of the trench, the upper layers of soil and gravel were removed to reveal layers of silts containing medieval pottery, charcoal and animal bones. Other finds include circular sharpening stone, iron nails, iron scale and an unidentifiable coin thought to be of medieval date. The presence of the iron slag suggests that a smithy may be close by.
The exact function of these archaeological remains is unclear; they may be the remains of houses and workshops of people based at the castle, who worked on surrounding agricultural estates. Alternatively, they may be the remains of earthworks and ditches created by people who had laid siege to the castle.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
EM 06/2004

Sources/Archives (41)



Grid reference Centred NH 5305 2860 (140m by 140m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH52NW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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