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Tom Pitlac

Motte (Medieval)(Possible)

Site Name Tom Pitlac

Classification Motte (Medieval)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) River Spey; Boat Of Garten; Hill Of Matilda; Tom Bigla; Bigla Cummings Castle

Canmore ID 15397

Site Number NH91NW 4

NGR NH 94715 19635

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Duthil And Rothiemurchus
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Badenoch And Strathspey
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH91NW 4 94715 19635

(NH 9473 1963) Tom Bigla (NAT)

Bigla Cummings Castle (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903).

Location formerly entered as NH 9473 1963.

The remains of 'an ancient stronghold' called Tom Pitlac (the hill of Bigla or Matilda), an oblong plateau bounded on one side by the Spey, and on the other three by a moat 8ft deep; on the plateau are the grass-covered foundation lines of a building about 70ft long. The name is associated with Bigla (Matilda) Cumin, daughter of Gilbert Cumin, Lord of Glenchearnach in the early 15th century; and the heroine of a number of local legends.

A Mitchell and J Drummond 1875.

Known locally as Tom Pitlac. The earthwork consists of a V-shaped ditch (not a moat) of clean-cut profile, and is probably medieval. At the E end of the enclosed area there is a near rectangular depression measuring about 8m E-W by 7m transversly, possibly the site of a building (? tower), but probing for signs of walling was inconclusive. It is possible that this is a motte.

Surveyed at 1/2500

Visited by OS (R L) 8 November 1966.

Scheduled as motte.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 17 August 2000.


Field Visit (25 September 1943)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Emergency Survey (1942-3), an unpublished rescue project. Site descriptions, organised by county, vary from short notes to lengthy and full descriptions and are available to view online with contemporary sketches and photographs. The original typescripts, manuscripts, notebooks and photographs can also be consulted in the RCAHMS Search Room.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 10 December 2014.

Field Visit (1996 - 2003)

Russell Coleman managed an Historic Scotland funded project to record medieval moated sites in Scotland. Gazetteers were produced for each regional council area between 1996 and 2002 with an uncompleted overall review in 2002-03. The results of the first year of the project were published in Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, Volume 3 (1997).


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