After fifteen years of trying, still nothing is being done about Rait Castle. For the latest news click here

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The Ghost of Rait Castle
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The ruins of Rait Castle, two miles south of Nairn

Protected? Or unprotected?

Rait Castle stands two miles south of the highland town of Nairn, itself about sixteen miles east of Inverness.

The building is clearly visible to travellers on the A939 - if they know where to look.

Technically Rait is not a castle but a 'hall house', a style common in the 13th century. Rait is one of only a handful of such castles still standing in Scotland, and the only one which is complete to the wall head and has no later additions. No longer visible beneath the vegetation are a courtyard with walls nine foot high and the remains of the Chapel of St Mary of Rait. Read more about the buildings here

But despite its antiquity and uniqueness, Rait's walls are overgrown with undergrowth and young trees sprout from the wall heads, their roots boring into the 800 year old mortar that still holds the stones in place. For more images of the castle, click here

In recognition of its historical importance, Rait Castle is both a 'scheduled ancient monument' and a 'Category A listed building''. Yet, and despite a new act going through the Scottish Parliament at the moment (March 2010), there is no burden on anyone to ensure that a scheduled monument does not fall down. The owner is obliged to do nothing that might damage the structure but need not ensure that it remains standing.

The government agency tasked with dealing with all scheduled monuments is Historic Scotland.

This website is part of a campaign to clear the site, remove trees from the walls before their roots seriously damage the building and make a record of everything of historical interest within the barmkin wall. For the latest news click here

Alastair Cunningham

This campaign enjoys the support of the following organisations:

The Highland Buildings Preservation Trust

The Scottish Castles Association

The Nairnshire Committee of the Highland Council

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