This website uses cookies. Find out more.OK

Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


Print this record

There are no additional online documents for this record.


  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 05/10/1971


  • Local Authority: Highland
  • Planning Authority: Highland
  • Parish: Urquhart And Glenmoriston

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNH 53095 28647
  • Coordinates253095, 828647


Ruinous walled castle, exploiting defensive site shaped roughly as figure of eight on Loch Ness side bounded 3 sides by water and on W by deep ditch. Surviving masonry dates from 13th through to mid 17th century. The curtain walls contain masonry dating from 13th century, enclosing motte, upper and nether baileys, kitchen and undercrofts of former hall and great chamber, gatehouse and tower.

Kitchens, hall and great chamber exploit SE promintory of site and appear to date from 14th century. 4-storey square tower of 16th century date rises from east corner of site; 3 sides survive, with portions of corbelled wallhead. Arched gate house, with centre passage flank by vaulted chamber each side reached across ditch by (modern) bridge linking masonry ramp.

SW gatehouse chamber contains kiln; further kiln to NW of castle on edge of ditch. Remains of circular (probably beehive) dovecote with 4 esting boxes in upper bailey.

Statement of Special Interest

Guardianship Monument. Though present ruins date probably from 13th century, excavation has revealed a vitrified fort near the motte. A royal castle is said to have existed at Urquhart in late 12th century. Earliest known Lords of Urquhart were 13th c. Durward family. Castle changed hands incessantly passing through Comyns, Sir Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray and Macdonald of the Isles. Finally granted to Grants of Freuchie in 16th century, on condition they repair the castle built tower and other improvements including "kiln, cot and dovegrove".

Scheduled 9 September 1997.




W Douglas Simpson, URQUHART CASTLE (1971) (official guide)

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at