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Balconie House

Castle (Medieval), House (19th Century)

Site Name Balconie House

Classification Castle (Medieval), House (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Balconie Castle

Canmore ID 13684

Site Number NH66NW 8

NGR NH 61543 65688

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NH66NW 8 6153 6568

(NH 6153 6568) Balconie House (NAT)

OS 6" map, (1959).

Balconie Castle is on the site of one of the castles occupied by the Earls of Ross.

N Macrae 1923.

Balconie House is a derelict four storey building. There is no trace of a former building to be seen. It is perhaps significant that the position is opposite Castlecraig (NH66SW 2) which stands on the SE shore of Cromarty Firth and it is believed locally that a castle guarded the firth on each side here.

Visited by OS (R D) 5 May 1963.

Architecture Notes


Balconie House which was a Category C Listed ruinous building was blown up c. 1968. Information from Demolitions catalogue held in RCAHMS library.


Note (1979)

Balconie NH 615 656 NH 66 NW 8

A castle, occupied by the Earls of Ross, is said to have stood here. Balconie House, a 19th century building which later occupied the site, has been demolished.


(Macrae 1923, plates following p. xvi)

External Reference (2010)

There were at least two castles thought to be on the site: a medieval one and the later one destroyed in c. 1868.

Mary MacDonald researched the medieval castle for ARCH Community Timelines course 2010: The medieval castle is mentioned in 1297 in a letter to Edward I (Calendar of Scottish Documents No. 922, Royal Letters No. 3258). Alexander, Earl of Ross issues documents at Balconie in 1439/40.

A document of 1473 is issued at Balconie [Balkny) by John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles (Acts of the Lords of the Isles, ed. Jan Munro & R. W Munro, 1986). Balkeny is listed in 1479 as one of the 'five quarters' of Ross in connection with the confiscated estates of John, last Earl of Ross (W.J. Watson, Place-names of Ross and Cromarty, p. xxv.)

In 1551, Queen Mary grants 'the chaplainry of St Monan on the lands of Balcony' to Sir William Munro. (Origines Parochiales Scotiae, ed. Cosmo Innes et al., 1850-5.).

Information from the ARCH Community Timelines Course, 2010


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