MHG8444 - Dunskeath Castle


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • RINGWORK (Early Medieval to 21st Century - 561 AD to 2100 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) MOTTE AND BAILEY (Early Medieval to 21st Century - 561 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Dunskeath Castle (NR). (Site of) Moat (NR).
OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

Dunskeath Castle was motte-castle fortified by King William the Lion in 1179. Hugh Miller (1835), says, "We can still trace the moat of the citadel, and part of an outwork which rises towards the hill, but the walls have sunk into low grassy mounds, and the line of the outer mote has long since been effaced by the plough". In recent years almost levelled mound and shallow depression of ditch were still discernible, but site is now subjected to military occupation (Mackenzie 1950).
H Miller 1835; W M Mackenzie 1950;
Visible on RAF APs CPE/Scot/UK/223, 4140-1: 27 June 1947.

The surviving remains consist of 2 concentric semi-circular ditches with inner ramparts, terminating at each end in S on steep naturally defensive slopes. The outer ditch, c.7m wide and 1.5m deep, is truncated in W by ploughing but its track is visible on RAF APs. Its rampart has been mutilated by quarrying and only about 16m (9m wide and 1.5m high) survives in good condition. Whole of inner ditch, c9m wide and 2m deep, is fairly well preserved, but its inner rampart is considerably reduced, probably by erosion. No entrance is evident through defences, though one was visible 1794 (OSA). The irregularly-shaped enclosed area, (a natural spur) is partly occupied by a concrete gun emplacement, which has mutilated interior. The earthwork remains cannot be classified as a motte but are undoubtedly remains of a defensive medieval ring work of some strength.
Resurveyed at 1:2500.Visited by OS (A A) 24 August 1972.

The castle was Scheduled in 1974.

The castle was re-scheduled in 2016 to better protect the surviving remains. <1> <2>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NH 8070 6898 (140m by 140m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH86NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish NIGG

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