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Date 30 May 1989 - 6 October 1989

Event ID 1034187

Category Recording

Type Excavation


Two small-scale excavations within the E half of the courtyard of this castle revealed a sequence of domestic and service ranges, culminating in an elaborate industrial complex, all of which broadly echoed the succession of families associated with the site. The original simple enclosure castle as occupied by the MacSweens until the mid 13th century may have featured some form of tower-like structure in the NE corner of the enclosure. The site was then extensively remodelled under the Stewart Earls of Menteith, who built two towers outside the W wall of the primary enclosure, and a stone-built N range inside (c.1262 to 1362). When the site was later occupied by the MacNeills of Gigha on behalf of the Lords of the Isles, a substantial E range with first floor hall, was built within the courtyard, to compliment the new NE or 'Macmillans Tower' during the 15th century. Finally, with the discovery of a series of kiln-like structures and ancillary sheds and compounds, it was evident that up to the end of its active life, under the Earls of Argyll c.1650, the E courtyard was largely cleared of major buildings and the area given over to industrial usage, probably metal working.

G Ewart 1989a

Sponsor: SDD Historic Buildings and Monuments

Kirkdale Archaeology

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