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Old Largie Castle


Site Name Old Largie Castle

Classification Castle

Canmore ID 38890

Site Number NR74NW 6

NGR NR 7085 4832

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.


Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Killean And Kilchenzie
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR74NW 6 7085 4832.

(NR 7083 4832) Old Largie Castle (NR) (Ruin)

OS 6" map, (1924)

Old Largie Castle (Site). When the officers of the Ordnance Survey visited this site about the year 1868 they reported that "only a small portion of the side wall" of the castle survived, and that the remainder of the area was occupied by the farmsteading of High Rhunahaorine. This farmsteading, apparently a structure of late 18th- or early 19th century date, has since become completely ruinous and its fragmentary remains now incorporate no recognisable portions of an early castle.

The MacDonalds of Largie, descendants of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, have been in possession of estates in Kintyre since about the middle of the 15th century. The site now under discussion was presumably an early seat of the family in this locality, but since at least as early as the end of the 18th century the principal family residence has been situated at Tayinloan. Old Largie Castle is said to have been "merely a fortified house, strong but plain in character, and of small size (Bede 1861).

RCAHMS 1971, visited 1965; Name Book 1869; C Bede 1861.

Within the ruins of the farmstead there are two features remaining probably from the old castle. They are a cellar in the SW end of the farmstead, of which no structural details remain due to choking by debris, and short stretches of broken walling up to 2.2m high on the N and E sides of the farm which would appear to be the remains of the original barmkin.

Visited by OS (J B) 16 December 1977.


Watching Brief (9 September 2015)

an archaeological watching brief undertaken by Scotia Archaeology for Scottish & Southern Energy plc (SSE) during the excavation of a trench to accommodate an earth wire at Rhunahaorine, Kintyre, Argyll.

The trench was located close to the remains of Old Largie Castle and the sparse remnants of a post-medieval farmstead which are believed to overlie them. As a consequence, the West of Scotland Archaeology Service (WoSAS), advised SSE that an archaeological watching brief should be implemented during trenching. The watching brief was undertaken by John Lewis of Scotia Archaeology on 9 September 2015. Excavation was undertaken using a small mechanical excavator, the trench running southwards from Pole 23 (at NR 70851 48366) to NR 70835 48340, roughly following the route of an overhead power line although the trench curved slightly towards the west to avoid the edge of the artificial platform upon which the ruins of the castle and farmstead stand.

The trench measured approximately 33m long, 0.35m wide and 0.5m deep. It cut through coarse grass and topsoil of pale brown, gritty loam with gravel. Topsoil overlay glacial till of orange clay with gravel, pebbles and occasional larger boulders.

No structures, features or deposits of archaeological significance were uncovered within the trench and no artefacts were retrieved from it.

Scotia Archaeology, 2015


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