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Skye, Kyleakin, Caisteal Maol

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Skye, Kyleakin, Caisteal Maol

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Moyle; Caisteal Moil; Maoile Castle

Canmore ID 11663

Site Number NG72NE 1

NGR NG 7580 2634

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/11663

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Strath
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Castle Maol, 15th century The two-fingered ruin of a three-storey tower house, commanding Kyle Akin from a rocky knoll. Once a Mackinnon stronghold (formerly called Dunakin, after Haakon of Norway), it survives only on the south wall (with window embrasure), and parts of the west wall and north east corner. Abandoned in the early 17th century, it probably once resembled Caisteal Uisdean

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

Archaeology Notes

NG72NE 1 7580 2634

(NG 7580 2634) Caisteal Maol (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Caisteal Maol ... a stronghold of the MacKinnons of Skye occupies a rocky promontory about 50ft OD.

The structure appears to be of 15th century date and is rectangular on plan measuring 46ft 6 ins by 34ft 8 ins externally with its major axis lying almost NE-SW. Only the N and S corners and the SE wall remain, being 8-9ft thick. They reach a height of 35-40ft outside and have contained three floors, with possibly a fourth within the roof. Debris completely fills the basement, but a corbel, projecting from the S wall at a level of 3ft below the step of the first floor window, indicates a bearer support for the floor. Evidently there have been no vaulted ceilings. The walls are of basalt rubble and are faced externally and internally with squared rubble built to courses of varying heights. At the base of the S wall there is a batten, which varies from 1ft 2 ins - 8ft on the splayed face, according to the irregular contour of the rock. No windows appear in the basement.

Dean Munro (1549) mentions "the castill of Dunna-Kyne, pertaining to MacKynnoun", which is clearly this place. It is marked on Blaeu's (i.e. Pont's) map under this name. In 1616 and 1627 Lauchlan MacKinnon of "Strathordill" had charters of these lands as a barony with the privilege of a ferry boat on the water of Kyleakin.

J Blaeu 1654; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; RCAHMS 1928.

Caisteal Maol, as described by RCAHMS, is in ruinous condition.

Visited by OS (A C) 13 June 1961.

No change.

Revised at 1/2500

Visited by OS (R L) 13 June 1961.

'Pine joist end': listed, no details given.

R Miket et al 1991.

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