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Cromarty Castle

Motte (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Cromarty Castle

Classification Motte (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Cromarty House Policies

Canmore ID 14439

Site Number NH76NE 2

NGR NH 7924 6711

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/14439

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NH76NE 2 7924 6710.

The sheriffdom of Cromarty first appears on record in the 13th century; in 1470 the Urquharts, hereditary sheriffs since the mid-14th century, were granted royal permission to build a tower or fortalice on the motte of Cromarty and to equip it with suitable defences. Judging from the evidence of later architectural drawings and descriptions, the stone castle that was erected in the later 15th century appears to have been a very substantial L-plan tower, bigger and more sophisticated than any surviving late medieval structure in this area. An extensive range of domestic buildings was added in 1632 by the father of the great Sir Thomas Urquhart, but the proposals to rehabilitate the castle as a barracks after the 1745 Rebellion came to nothing and the castle was demolished in 1772 during the construction of Cromarty House.

H Miller 1887; W Macfarlane 1900; W M Mackenzie 1922; 1948; RCAHMS 1979; G Stell 1986.

Location cited as NH 787 675; classified as motte.

P A Yeoman 1988.

NH 792 671 In September 2006 two trial trenches were cut to test a hypothesis that Church Street, Cromarty, formerly continued along the foot of the raised beach and was diverted by the Laird of Cromarty in the late 17th or 18th century to enable land to be taken into the policies of the house. In the event, no archaeology was found apart from evidence of former gardens belonging to Cromarty House. However, it may be that the trenches were incorrectly located and further work is planned for 2007. The project gave an opportunity to local people to take part in archaeological excavation alongside professional archaeologists.

Report in preparation. This will be lodged with Highland SMR and Library Service, and NMRS; archive will be deposited with RCAHMS.

Sponsor: Highland Archaeology Services Ltd.

John Wood, 2006.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE:

Cromarty Castle was demolished in 1772. Information from Demolitions catalogue held in RCAHMS library.

Activities

Excavation (September 2006)

NH 792 671 In September 2006 two trial trenches were cut to test a hypothesis that Church Street, Cromarty, formerly continued along the foot of the raised beach and was diverted by the Laird of Cromarty in the late 17th or 18th century to enable land to be taken into the policies of the house. In the event, no archaeology was found apart from evidence of former gardens belonging to Cromarty House. However, it may be that the trenches were incorrectly located and further work is planned for 2007. The project gave an opportunity to local people to take part in archaeological excavation alongside professional archaeologists.

Report in preparation. This will be lodged with Highland SMR and Library Service, and NMRS; archive will be deposited with RCAHMS.

Sponsor: Highland Archaeology Services Ltd.

J Wood 2006

References

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