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Publication Account

Date 1995

Event ID 1016710

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The dovecote which served an earlier Boath House stands on a hill above the town of Auldearn. It is a small circular dovecote built in the later 17th century; the exterior is harled, with a single ratcourse, and the conical roof slated with a circular entrance for pigeons at the apex. Above the door are six flight holes in a framed stone panel: a similar set of flightholes to the rear are now blocked and harled over. The inside is lined with nestboxes for the pigeons.

The dovecote stands within a much earlier earthwork, all that remains of the old castle of Eren built about the middle of the 12th century from which Auldearn (Old Eren) takes its name. This was one of a number of fortifications built to maintain the authority of the Scottish kings in Moray, then a centre of revolt. In this castle in the 1180s William the Lion issued his second charter to the burgesses of Inverness. At present a circular earthen bank of some 28m diameter can just be made out, running round the edge of the hill and much overgrown with bushes. The 12th-century castle may have consisted of wooden buildings within the earthwork, which would have been crowned with a stone wall or timber palisade. It became ruinous in medieval times. Later a historic battle was fought closeby: Montrose, fighting on behalf of King Charles I, raised his standard here before the battle of Auldearn on 9th May 1645, at which he defeated the Covenanting forces. There is an explanatory notice on the site with a plan of the battlefield.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).

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