Eilean Donan Castle: Exploring a Highland Icon, Archaeological Research Excavations 2009–2017 [Hardback]

Cecily Shakespeare (Author); Jonathan Clark (Author); Justin Garner-Lahire (Author); Richard Oram (Author); Nicola Toop (Author)

Regular Price: £25.00

Special Price: £20.00

ISBN: 9798888570548 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Publication: September 2023 | Language: English 136p, H279 x W216 (mm) 70 illustrations predominantly in color
Status: Not yet published - advance orders taken

Eilean Donan Castle


Now hard to believe, Eilean Donan Castle was once one of the largest castles in the west Highlands, known to have featured seven towers, the remains of which lie buried on the island. This book provides a refreshed view of the lost medieval guise of the castle, of its 13th-century origins and form, and of who was responsible for building it, allowing the castle to be positioned accurately in the complex dynamics of powerholding and display of the earls of Ross and associated militarised kindreds of the west Highlands during six centuries of change up to the castle’s destruction in 1719.

A new history and the details of the below-ground archaeology allow us to see the lost medieval castle in our mind’s eye 500 years after it vanished. Focusing on the wealth of archaeological material unearthed during the campaign shows the castle hosted master craftspeople including goldsmiths, shipwrights and hereditary swordsmiths. Exquisite personal items, decorative mail armour and weapons, musical instruments, gaming pieces, imported pottery and animal bones bring the castle and its inhabitants back to life.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of tables
1. Introduction
Site and setting
2. Archaeological and historical background
Prehistoric activity
Saint Donan
The Earls of Ross, Clann Choinnich and Clann Mhic Rath from the 13th century to 1719, Professor Richard Oram
3. Overview of research programme
4. Research results
Before the castle
The medieval castle
The late medieval castle
The 16th-century castle
The 20th-century castle - reconstruction of the inner ward
5. Digest of evidence – the assemblages
  1. The lithics
  2. The pottery
  3. The animal remains
  4. The finds
  5. The plant remains
  6. The coins
  7. The gravoir or hair parter and its cultural context
  8. The castle at play
  9. The metal-working assemblages
6. Discussion
Pre-castle activity
Dating the sequence
The castle household through time

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