South Uist, Calvay, Castle Calvay

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Site Type CASTLE
Canmore ID 10130
Site Number NF81NW 1
NGR NF 8175 1811
Former District WESTERN ISLES
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Calvay Castle, date uncertain Ruin of an islet fortification at the mouth of Loch Boisdale, from the roughly mortared stones of which it is possible to define an irregular curtain wall and the foundations of a small tower on the south-west corner. Fragments of the buildings that stood against the inner face are just discernible (there was a two-storey hall on the north side), as are gun slits, and the main entrance to the south. The history of this Outer Hebridean castle of enclosure - South Uist¿s answer to Kisimul - is shadowy. It is possible that it was built either by the MacRuaries of Garmoran or their successors, the MacNeils of Barra, to whom the Earl of Ross granted a charter of the lands of Boisdale in 142 7. Bonnie Prince Charlie hid here in June 1746, after his sojourn in Glen Corodale.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

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Archaeological Notes

NF81NW 1 8175 1811.

(NF 8175 1811) Castle Calvay (O.E.) (In Ruins)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Castle Calvay is situated on an islet separated only at high tide from Calvay Island, to which it is linked by a causeway. The fragmentary buildings, built aginst and incorporating the curtains, are of rough rubble in shell lime mortar. Slabs of stone are in some places bedded on edge. The average height of the walls in 1924 was 12ft. The date is indeterminate.
RCAHMS 1928.

The castle is generally as described and planned by RCAHMS but the causeway is no longer evident.
Surveyed at 1:10560.
Visited by OS (J T T) 13 May 1965.


Notes This project indicates that the record to which it is linked is within, or near the boundary, of an area managed by a SURE partner.
Information from RCAHMS (SH) 24th January 2014

Further details

Books and References

Miers, M (2008) The Western Seaboard: an illustrated architectural guide, Edinburgh

RCAHMS (1928) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, Edinburgh
Page(s): 107, No. 369 plan, fig. 156, illust. fig 154 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV(9)

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