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Eilean An Righ, Loch Laggan

Island Dwelling (Medieval)

Site Name Eilean An Righ, Loch Laggan

Classification Island Dwelling (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) King Fergus's Lodge

Canmore ID 24006

Site Number NN48NE 1

NGR NN 4987 8755

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/24006

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

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NN48NE 1 4987 8755

(NN 4987 8755) King Fergus's Hunting Lodge (NR)

(Supposed remains of)

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

For (1934) discovery of frame-built boat, see NN48NE 4.

See also NN48NE 2 and NN48NE 9.

'In the middle of Loch Laggan are two islands... on the larger are the side walls still remaining of a very ancient building, made of common round stones but cemented with mortar. This is said to be the place where the kings of Dunkeld retired from hunting and feasted on their game. On the neighbouring island, which is called Eilan n'Cone, or, the Island of Dogs, and said to be the place where their hounds were confined, is also a wall standing of a similar building' OSA 1792.

In 1934 Loch Laggan was lowered some 16', an event which prompted a certain amount of correspondence between interested parties. An article by Stuart Maxwell based on the old Statistical Account, newspaper clippings, and this correspondence lists various items found on the larger island without coming to any definite conclusion. The finds included fragments of wheel turned clay vessels, a wooden dish and a wooden vessel; also pieces of sewn leather shoes and probably some cloth fragments. All that now remains of these items is a sherd of wheel turned medieval pottery, fire blackened on two edges, and the cloth. Of the building itself very little definite is said beyond the fact that island on which it stands is natural rock and not a crannog. The door which was placed in a difficult position must have been reached by wooden steps and it was secured by a log let into sockets in the rock. Fragments of a carved cupboard panel of possible c.1500 date were found; also some heavily mortised beams; a roof covering of shovel shaped turves, fixed down with wooden pegs. A large quantity of heavily fired clay wattle was found among the charred beams and stone and mortar rubble of the building. According to one source this points to a former clay-built castle on the site, or much earlier occupation, but another merely interpreted it as 'a stone and lime building built on top of an older and more primitive dwelling which had apparently been burned." Quite a number of dug out canoes came to light in the Loch as a result of the 1934 and later lowerings (see NN58NW 3-5: NN48SE 1 and NN48SE 2 ) including one on Kings Fergus's Island. Also found on the island were fragments of a clinker-built boat, now preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities, and date to c.700-1500 A.D - early rather than late (Maxwell 1953).

Statistical Account (OSA) 1792; S Maxwell 1953.

The remains of the supposed Hunting Lodge consist of the greater part of the SE wall of a rectangular building, which from ground levels and the spread of fallen stone, is gauged to have measured internally about 28.0m NE-SW by 5.0m transversely.

The existing wall of mortared rubble masonry is 1.6m thick and of a maximum height of about 3.3m. The doorway, 1.1m wide, is equipped with door slots and bar-holes. Further west, are remains of two splayed voids.

Condition - ruinous

Eilean n'Cone (at NN 502 876 - NN58NW) is little more than a heap of loose stones and boulders and no trace of walling was found.

Visited by OS (ASP), 9 July 1961.

As decribed.

Visited by OS (RD), 14 October 1965.

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