Opposite the Holm Mills, across the canal up on the hill are the remains of an ancient fort. This area is known as Torvean or Tor-a-Bhean, gaelic for "hill of Bean".

There may be some difficulty here in identifying Bean. According to the Ordnance Gazzetteer of Scotland New Edition1 it might take its name from St. Bean, an 11th century saint, 1st bishop of Mortlach2, who died after 1012. However an earlier edition (1882 - 1884) of the same book mentions that the name may be linked to Donald Bane, killed in 1187 fighting with the Inverness garrison3.

Some cairns in the vicinity are known as Kilvean, Kil-a-Bhean, "cell of Bean" or "Bane". These are also thought to be named after the said Bean or Bane but are also identified with St. Baithen, (536 - 600), who was second abbot of Iona and successor to St. Columba.

Anyway, in 1808 a large double-linked silver chain was unearthed which was put in the Antiquarian Society's Museum in Edinburgh, it is now in the hands of National Museums Scotland.


1. GROOME, FRANCES H.ed., 1903. Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland. New edition. London: The Caxton Publishing Company.

MACLAGAN, CHRISTIAN, 1875. The hill forts, stone circles and other structural remains of ancient Scotland. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas.