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home page knowledge base news Royal Commission survey of 13th century Comyn castles

Royal Commission survey of 13th century Comyn castles

Inverlochy Castle 2

Inverlochy Castle

The Royal Commission have completed a survey of the 13th century Comyn castles of Lochindorb, Inverlochy, Bedrule and King Edward.

Lochindorb Castle

The island stronghold of Lochindorb Castle

Lochindorb, Moray was the island stronghold of the Comyns of Badenoch and consists of a curtained wall enclosure with round towers of shallow projection. It is known to have been visited by Edward I and strengthened by his son Edward II.

It is probably best know as the lair of the "Wolf of Badenoch" who burned down the cathedral of Elgin yet still managed to have himself buried in Dunkeld Cathedral where his splendid effigy remains to this day.

On the fall of the House of Douglas Lochindorb was 'slighted' by the King's command in 1458. The tumbled outer curves of the northern towers may bear witness to this event.

Alongside Lochindorb the Commission re-examed Inverlochy Castle, Fort William. Here the Comyns built the same style quadrilateral castle with converging walls and round towers. The largest tower, traditionally known as the Comyn Tower, was the donjon.

The wall head at Inverlochy had a double wall and the lack of provision for drainage would suggest that it was roofed. Double walled parapets were to be found at Kildrummy and at Bothwell, the latter also roofed.

RCAHMS to photograph every castle in Scotland

Last year the Commission began the ambitious plan to photograph every castle in Scotland and the re-survey of some, especially those which have received scant attention in the past. Those which are known to have existed at the time of Alexander III will receive particular attention.

Bedrule Castle

Bedrule Castle

Two call out for attention as being of Comyn foundation - Bedrule, Roxburgh and King Edward, Banff.

Bedrule occupies a grassy mound beside the church of that name. Only a few stones poke through the surface but aerial views reveal a large curtained walled castle of enclosure with round towers and gatehouse.

King Edward Castle

King Edward Castle

King Edward is a motte upon which stands a later stone castle. Little is known except that it was slighted by Robert the Bruce - the Comyns were never his favourite people.

(1) Related article: lochaber, morven & mull - 2003

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