MHG7030 - Rait Castle


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CASTLE (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) HALL HOUSE (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH85SE 10 8938 5253
Rait Castle farmhouse & steading (NH89025280), see NH85SE82

Rait Castle (NR) (In Ruins) OS 6" map, Nairnshire, 2nd ed. (1906)

Rait Castle, a rare example of a small stone hall-house of early 14th century, examined by Stewart Cruden and Prof Simpson 1957. It occupies a bad defensive position, overlooked from south by a rough irregular knoll. Slight traces on N side of castle suggesting an enclosing ditch.
The hall measures approx 54ft by 22ft and up to 36ft in height, with walls nearly 6ft thick. A round tower projects from one corner and there is a garderobe tower which projects nearly 13ft on W side and is 8ft wide. The portion of a wall embedded in E gable is older than hall-house and is probably a remnant of an older manor-house. The long tenement on W side is older, too, as it appears to have been shortened to make room for hall-house.
Between hall and knoll to S is courtyard, S wall of which incorporates a steep, smooth granite outcrop about 8ft high and 80ft long. It is constructed of similar materials to hall-house and stands to a height of 9ft and 2.5ft thick.
The detached building, 32ftx 16ft, SE of hall-house, is possibly chapel of St Mary of Rait, or Hermit's Chapel. In 1343 Nicholas the Hermit was in occupation and records exist of a chapel c1189-99.
The last recorded reference to a castle on this site was1596, excepting mention of Castledown of Rait in 1622.
W D Simpson 1937; 1961; S H Cruden 1960.

The castle was scheduled in 1959.

Rait Castle, now undergoing restoration and possible remains of chapel of St Mary of Rait, or Hermit's Chapel, are as described and planned by Simpson.
To E of castle remains of a minor depopulated settlement, comprising several buildings with attached small enclosures, which may or may not be associated with castle.
Visited by OS (N K B) 12 January 1967.

Scottish Historical Review Vol.2 No.5 1904 p.104

De-scheduled by Historic Scotland in 2002 because of an indistinct and inadequate scheduled area and subsequently re-scheduled.

Scheduled Monument consent for scrub clearance, removal of trees and ivy from an area of 2m around the castle by hand 15/04/05

The building was reviewed by Historic Scotland in 2014 as part of the Dual Designation Project. The site was not visited and it was recommended that the building be de-listed but remain a scheduled monument. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NH 8939 5251 (107m by 106m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH85SE
Civil Parish NAIRN
Geographical Area NAIRN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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