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Torsa, Caisteal Nan Con

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Torsa, Caisteal Nan Con

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Dog Castle

Canmore ID 22631

Site Number NM71SE 3

NGR NM 76587 13608

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilbrandon And Kilchattan
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM71SE 3 76587 13608

(NM 7658 1360) Caisteal nan Con (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

Caisteal nan Con - 'the Dogs' Castle' - occupies a small rocky eminence on the NE shore of the island of Torsa. The entire area of the rock summit was enclosed, the upper and landward portion being occupied by a small oblong tower-house, and the lower, seaward portion by an oblong bailey which incorporated a circular tower at the NE corner. The castle appears to have been approached by means of a footpath leading up to a point on the south side of the bailey. All the buildings are very ruinous and much overgrown with turf, but considerable portions of the external wall faces of the tower-house and bailey-survive.

The tower measured about 13.7 metres NE-SW by 8.8 metres but the thickness of the walls cannot be ascertained without excavation. Access from the bailey was evidently obtained by means of a doorway in the NE wall. The bailey measured 16.2 by 10.6 metres overall, the NE angle-tower having an external diameter of about 5.5 metres.

About 75 metres to the NE of the castle there is a small rocky inlet which probably served as a boat landing.

The castle, a former stronghold of the Campbells and later of the MacDougalls, may be ascribed to the later Middle Ages.

RCAHMS 1975, visited June 1971; information from photographs from H B Miller 21 August 1963.

As described.

Surveyed at 1:10 000 scale.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 21 April 1970.


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