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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 673841

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NM46SE 2 4733 6313

(NM 4733 6313) Caisteal Dubh nan Cliar (NAT)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

Caisteal Dubh nan Cliar (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6"map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

Caisteal Dubh nan Cliar (name confirmed locally) is of uncertain purpose, but it is probably a fisherman's hut or store of no great age, as the adjacent gully is entirely suited as a boat noost.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

M E M Donaldson 1923; Visited by OS (N K B) 5 June 1970.

Caisteal Dubh nan Cliar: This building occupies the summit of a small rocky knoll immediately above the NW foreshore of Kilchoan Bay. The structure is now extremely ruinous and its original form is uncertain, but it probably comprised a small two-storeyed tower of irregular plan measuring about 5.5m from NW to SE by 4.6m transversely. Beneath the SW portion of the tower a chamber has been formed by enclosing an overhanging lip of rock with a wall of masonry on three sides. This chamber measures about 3.1m by 2.2m and the roof, which comprises slab-lintels supported on corbel-courses, rises to a height of about 1.8m. In the SE wall there are the remains of a rebated entrance-doorway, which appears to have been secured by a draw-bar. All the masonry is of random rubble bound together by coarse lime-mortar. The age of this building is uncertain, but it may tentatively be ascribed to the 16th or 17th century. It seems too small to have been a permanent residence, and it is possible that it served as an outpost of Mingary Castle, (NM56SW 1) securing the anchorage is Kilchoan Bay. In 1838 (New Statistical Account [NSA] 1845) it was described as 'the remains of a very small tower, dignified by the name of "Castial due nan Clior", the black Castle of the Minstrels'.

NSA 1845; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1971.

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