Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Dunivaig Castle, Lagavulin Bay (7388)

Current Priority
2
East
140603
North
645489
Site Type
Dunivaig Castle
Period
14-18th C

Dunivaig Castle, first mentioned in chronicles of the later 14th C, was a possession of the Lords of the Isles. It passed through several hands during its often troubled history, at various stages being in the keep of the McDonalds of Dunivaig, McLean of Ardnamurchan, Sir John Campbell of Cawdor and was under royal control for a period. It was besieged on a number of occasions in the 17th C and appears to have been abandoned by the end of that century. It now stands as a much depleted ruin. It occupies a high coastal promontory on the E side of Lagavulin Bay. On lower ground beneath the rise, there is an outer courtyard. This is irregularly polygonal in shape and measures some 37m by 23m in area. The courtyard contains the remains of at least four rectangular buildings. This are now overgrown but can still be traced on the ground. To the SW side, there are traces of a sea gate and a boat landing area. On the summit of the rise, there are traces of an enclosure wall and the now depleted remains of a elongated hall which originally stood to more than two main stories in height. Of this building, only the seaward wall now stands to any height; the remainder being reduced to footings. The entire structure is now in a poor condition, with crumbling walls and loose masonry. The buildings on the summit are closed off to the public due to its dangerous and unstable condition. A 'cupmarked' stone previously reported (NR44NW 4) some 100m to the NE of the castle, and thought comprise of baitholes and natural depressions, was not seen during this survey. RCAHMS (1984a) 268-75, No. 403.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Poor
Action
Monitor site to report fresh exposures ;
Develop management plan with landowner and heritage agency

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Record IY191 on map 7 in Islay, 2003

Other records:

NMRS
Unknown
SMR
2613

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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15th July, 2014 by Janiec55
Survey Information
User:
Janiec55
Date:
July 15, 2014
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
visitor erosion; structural damage/decay
Description:

Dunivaig Castle, first mentioned in chronicles of the later 14th C, was a possession of the Lords of the Isles. It passed through several hands during its often troubled history, at various stages being in the keep of the McDonalds of Dunivaig, McLean of Ardnamurchan, Sir John Campbell of Cawdor and was under royal control for a period. It was besieged on a number of occasions in the 17th C and appears to have been abandoned by the end of that century. It now stands as a much depleted ruin. It occupies a high coastal promontory on the E side of Lagavulin Bay. On lower ground beneath the rise, there is an outer courtyard. This is irregularly polygonal in shape and measures some 37m by 23m in area. The courtyard contains the remains of at least four rectangular buildings. This are now overgrown but can still be traced on the ground. To the SW side, there are traces of a sea gate and a boat landing area. On the summit of the rise, there are traces of an enclosure wall and the now depleted remains of a elongated hall which originally stood to more than two main stories in height. Of this building, only the seaward wall now stands to any height; the remainder being reduced to footings. The entire structure is now in a poor condition, with crumbling walls and loose masonry. The buildings on the summit are closed off to the public due to its dangerous and unstable condition. A 'cupmarked' stone previously reported (NR44NW 4) some 100m to the NE of the castle, and thought comprise of baitholes and natural depressions, was not seen during this survey. RCAHMS (1984a) 268-75, No. 403.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
easily accessible- no restrictions; accessible on foot (footpath)
The site is:
is well known; is well visited; has local associations/history
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

consolidation