Carradale, Aird's Castle

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Site Type CASTLE
Canmore ID 39222
Site Number NR83NW 2
NGR NR 8203 3831
Former District ARGYLL AND BUTE
Former County ARGYLL
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NR83NW 2 8203 3831

(NR 8203 3831) Airds Castle (NR) (Site of)
OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1924)

Airds Castle occupies the summit of a rock outcrop. The structure is very ruinous, the only surviving remains comprising the scanty fragments of a stone curtain-wall. This wall appears originally to have enclosed the entire summit, which is of irregular pentagonal plan and measures 67m from N to S by 24m transversely overall. The ground falls away steeply from the summit on all sides except the NW, where there is a broad flat-bottomed ditch may in part be of artificial origin. The principal entrance to the castle was probably situated towards the centre of the W side and reached by means of a track ascending the western slopes of the outcrop, but an apparent gap (A on RCAHMS {1971} Plan) in the opposite sector of the curtain wall may mark the site of a postern-gateway.
The curtain wall has a thickness of about 1.5m and now rises to maximum height of 3.4m. There are no visible traces of any internal buildings, but a small circular reed-grown depression (B) may represent the site of a well.
It is not known when this castle was erected, but all the existing remains appear to be of medieval date. The site seems to have come into the possession of the Crown at the end of the 15th century following the forfeiture of John, Lord of the Isles. In 1498 James IV granted the "Fortalicium de Ardcardane", together with other property in the same area, to an Ayrshire landholder, Sir Adam Reid of "Stairquhite" and Barskimming. In the middle of the 16th century the same lands formed part of the barony of Bar, in North Kintyre, then held by the MacDonalds of Dunnyveg, while in 1605 they were again in the possession of the Reids of Barskimming.
RCAHMS 1971, visited 1965.

Airds Castle is as described and planned by RCAHMS (1971).
Surveyed at 1:10 000.
Visited by OS (JB) 25 February 1978.

NR 8203 3831 Site identified as part of a coastal zone assessment survey.
M Cressey and S Badger 2005.

Books and References

Coventry, M (2001) The castles of Scotland Musselburgh
Page(s): 48 Held at RCAHMS F.5.2.COV

RCAHMS (1971a) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the ancient monuments, volume 1: Kintyre, Edinburgh
Page(s): 157, No. 308 fig. 161 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV/18

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