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Castle (Medieval), Motte (Medieval)(Possible), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Redcastle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Motte (Medieval)(Possible), Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Ederdour; Redcastle Policies

Canmore ID 12662

Site Number NH54NE 5

NGR NH 58386 49508

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Killearnan
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH54NE 5.00 58386 49508

(NH 5838 4951) Red Castle (NAT)

OS 6" map, (1957)

NH54NE 5.01 NH 58309 49523 Lodge

NH54NE 5.02 NH 58550 49648 Stable Square/Clocktower Cottage (Redcastle Mains)

NH54NE 5.03 NH 58587 49692 Slaughter house (Redcastle Mains)

NH54NE 5.04 NH 58955 50118 Factor's House (Redcastle Mains)

NH54NE 5.05 NH 58590 49637 Steading (Redcastle Mains)

NH54NE 5.06 NH 58297 49502 Icehouse

NH54NE 5.07 NH 58626 49729 Kennels

For Gardener's House (Redmount, Milton, at NH 58300 49413), see NH54NE 46.

A mansion in which several portions of an older edifice have been incorporated. The building seems to have been originally a structure of an elongated L plan, with a staircase in the re-entering angle. The hall would in that case occupy the large central apartment, with private room at the east end. Two angel turrets on the west wing are of some age. Probably not earlier than the 16th. c., the castle, at the end of a steep sided promontory, occupies the site of a much older structure. It was here that William the Lion, in the 12th.c., erected the fortress of Ederdour. Redcastle belonged in 1230 to Sir John Bysset, in 1278 to Sir Andrew de Besco and in 1455 the Black Isle was annexed to the Crown. It came into the possession of the MacKenzies in 1570 who held it until 1790. It was burned to the ground in 1659 when Rory MacKenzie joined Montrose.

ISSFC 1888; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889.

Now a roofless shell, but generally as described. A stone in the NE wall bears the initials R.M. and the date 1641.

Visited by OS (A A) 11 January 1971.

Architecture Notes


Redcastle: dangerously derelict

(Undated) information in NMRS.

OWNER: Baroness Burton

ARCHITECT: William Burn 1840-additions and alterations (not carried out as designed)

National Gallery of Scotland holds Nasmyth drawing of Redcastle, reference D3727/84.

Information from Dr Helen Smailes, 27 January 2001.

Site Management (1 June 1990)

Rubble with ashlar flush quoins and chamfered margins, 3-storey, approximate L-plan with higher square-plan stair-tower in re-entrant angle and smaller stairtower with canted south-west angle

corbelled to square at third floor at south-east angle of main block. Alterations and additions, William Burn, 1840 3-storey block infilling re-entrant angle of south jamb and main stair tower, plain 2-storey addition with crowstepped gables at north.

Built on site of Castle of Edradour believed to have been built by David, brother of William the Lion, in 1179. It passed into the possession of the Mackenzies by the early 17th century. Rory Mackenzie succeeded to Redcastle in 1629 and his own new strong house of Redcastle was sacked by The Covenanters in 1649. (Scottish Historical Society, WARDLAW MS, 341; Duncan Warrand, SOME MACKENZIE PEDIGREES, 72) In 1790 Redcastle was sold by the Mackenzies to Grant of Shewghie and was sold again in 1824 to Sir William after his death to Colonel Hugh Duncan Baillie of Dochfour who commissioned the Burn remodelling. (Joseph Mitchell, REMINISCENCES OF MY LIFE IN THE HIGHLANDS, i, 251). (Historic Scotland)


Field Visit (2013 - 2014)

The castle walls are cracked in places from top to bottom. The structure is unsafe and is fenced off. The fence has been breached in three places.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 2013


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