MHG55310 - Toman na Croiche, South Laggan


An unroofed structure of unknown function on an apparent artificial mound.

Type and Period (3)

  • (Alternate Type) BEACON? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) FOLLY? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DOVECOT? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Martin Briscoe has submitted photographs and drawings of this site via the Highland HER Flickr group.
The tower is marked "Old Dovecot" on the 1876 and 1900 Ordnance Survey maps. These appear to be the only references to the site. Local tradition is that it was a warning or signalling beacon. It is also possible that this was a decorative folly but the association is not known. <1>

Possibly any folly may have been associated with the large farmstead that is now the Great Glen Hostel. This remains speculation however. Any dovecot or beacon would have required a superstructure for which there appears to be no evidence. Further investigation is needed. <2>

Hexagonal building of dressed stone built on top of a mound. The oval-shaped mound is approximately 20 metres high with the structure at one side. The unroofed structure has vertical walls, c. 6 m. high. There is an arched door with a lintel facing SE, towards the hill behind and away from transport links along the road and the loch. There are no windows, nor any indication of steps either inside or outside the building. There is no evidence of nesting roosts.

There are three possible purposes which have been suggested for this structure: 1) a signal post on the old military road from Fort August to Fort William; 2) a doocot; 3) a folly.

At 39m at ground level, the mound is at the highest point along the military road between Fort Augustus and Fort William. On top of the mound there is a shallow depression, full of vegetation with some large stones scattered in it. Local tradition suggests that the mound was built as Toman na Croiche, Gallows Hill, as recorded in E.C. Ellice's Place Names of Glengarry, 1898.

A study of this monument is planned by the Lochaber Archaeology Group. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NN 2945 9718 (31m by 28m)
Map sheet NN29NE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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