MHG45417 - Midden at Castle Tioram - Cul Doirlinn, Moidart


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Type and Period (1)

  • MIDDEN (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

See also:
NM67SE0105 - Bowl, hanging
Now includes listed building details previously held under NM67SE0009
JW 12/1/01

Site Visit 21/2/2000 to view area of collapse in wall. See HLink photos

JW 23/2/2000
NMRS Notes:

NM67SE 1 6621 7243.
Castle Tioram (NR) (In ruins).
OS 6"map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1901)

The castle on Eilean Tioram is first mentioned in a charter of 1372. It was garrisoned by the government in the E 18th century and burned down in 1715. It consists of a massive pentagonal curtain wall. occupying the whole summit of the rock, within which is a range of stone buildings of which the earliest is the keep, 16th century; the South range was added about 1600 followed by later additions and modifications (Simpson 1954).
Before 1928 the remains of a 5th c bronze hanging-bowl were recovered from a kitchen-midden at Tioram. It is 6 1/2" in diameter and spun from a single piece of bronze. Now in the West Highland Museum (Kilbride-Jones 1937).
W D Simpson 1954; M E M Donaldson 1923; H E Kilbride-Jones 1937.

Castle Tioram, as described and planned by Simpson. About 8.0m NW of the gable of the castle is a cleft in the rock which has almost certainly been used as a midden for the castle, otherwise no further information regarding the find spot of the hanging bowl which is still in the West Highland Museum.
Visited by OS (R L) 3 June 1970.

The hanging-bowl dates within the 5th to 8th centuries but is late, perhaps 7th century.
Information from R B K Stevenson, Keeper, NMAS.

The castle is 13th century and later.
J G Dunbar 1966.

Reference from Architecture Catalogue

Situated in Moydart, or Moidart, a district on the mainland in the S.W. extremity of Inverness-shire, and on the margin of the indent or bay of the sea called Loch Moidart. Groome's Gazetteer of Scotland, 1901, refers to the 'ruined castle' there.
In a report dated at Edinburgh October 3rd, 1748, made by David Watson, Engineer, on the state of the Castles of Tyrrim, Duart, and Island Stalker (Shuna), and contained among a series of Drawings of the board of Ordnance (Reference MSS. 1645-1652) held in Volume or Case No. 1648 by the National Library of Scotland, he refers to Castle Tyrrim, as at that time, thus:-
"Castle Tyrrim is an old ruinous Building belonging to the Clanronald family, it stands on a Rocky Peninsula, that joins Moydart by a narrow neck of Sand.
In the Rebellion 1715, a detachment of the King's Troops was sent to Castle Tyrrim, which detachment was surprised and made prisoners by the Rebells who burnt the Castle.
If this Castle was repaired it might accommodate a party of 50 men, the repairs would cost at least 800?; the Walls of the Building being quite insufficient, from the burning and Tryings of the Weather".
In the National Library of Scotland is a series of Military Maps and Drawings (many are coloured) of the Board of Ordnance, relating to the works executed in the 18th Century (Reference MSS. 1645-1652), and in Volume or Case 1648 is contained the report quoted above so far as relating to Castle Tyrrim, and the following Drawings:-
No.Z.3/25.-Plann of Castle Tyrholme in Moidart, to scale one Inch to every 10 Feet; with Profile, or view. Indicated as Surveyed and deliver'd by Lewis Petit. There is no date, but there is a copy dated 1741.
Z.3/28.-Plan, to scale of 40 Feet to an Inch, and a View of Castle Tyrim in Muydart; and, on the same sheet, Plan to scale of 60 Feet to an Inch, and 2 Veiws of Castle Duirt in the Island of Mull. The Plan is dated 1748. Thre is also a copy. (This Drawing is also entered under Castle Duart).
In the Index Volume of the series quoted, numbered 1652, it is stated that Castle Tioram (Tyrim in Moidart or Muydart) is a scheduled monument: it was put into a state of repair at the instance of the owner,
Mr Wiseman Madconald of Los Angeles, U.S.A., by the A.M. Department,

Macgibbon and Ross, in "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Architecture of Scotland", give the name as the Castle of Ellan-Tirrim. They give an Historical Note, with a Plan and a pen and ink sketch.

LOC Local Plan, Feb. 1991: P55/5.2.26. Visitor Facilities. The Council will consider provision of improved parking, interpretation and walks at this site.
J Aitken : 05/06/01.

See Reports 849-861. Report Library. (Reports 4 & 5 missing).
J Aitken : 20/05/02.

The site was visited and photographed by K Hawthorne on the 5th of July 2011.

Sources/Archives (11)



Grid reference Centred NM 6620 7243 (14m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM67SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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