Tom Pitlac

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Alternative Names River Spey; Boat Of Garten; Hill Of Matilda; Tom Bigla; Bigla Cummings Castle
Canmore ID 15397
Site Number NH91NW 4
NGR NH 94715 19635
Former Region HIGHLAND
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological 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.

25 September 1943

Project Emergency Survey (archaeology)

Notes This site was included within the RCAHMS Emergency Survey (1942-3), an unpublished rescue project.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.

Further details

Books and References

Coventry, M (2008) Castles of the Clans: the strongholds and seats of 750 Scottish families and clans, Musselburgh
Page(s): 117 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.COV

Mitchell and Drummond, A and J (1875) 'Vacation notes in Cromar, Burghead, and Strathspey. Including notice of one of the supposed burial-places of St Columba', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.10
Page(s): 671-2, 675

RCAHMS (1942-3) Emergency Survey of archaeological monuments in military training areas. 2v. Typescripts
Page(s): INV 87 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.SUR

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