Ancient Monuments

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Fedderate Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Central Buchan, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.5387 / 57°32'19"N

Longitude: -2.1739 / 2°10'26"W

OS Eastings: 389686

OS Northings: 849848

OS Grid: NJ896498

Mapcode National: GBR N8ZS.YK4

Mapcode Global: WH9NR.LS05

Entry Name: Fedderate Castle

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5951

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: New Deer

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Central Buchan

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument consists of the upstanding remains of Fedderate Castle, a 15th-century stronghold overlying a 13th-century defensive site.

This once impressive castle is thought to have been built by William de Crawford who held the barony from 1474-1519. It appears to have been bombarded by artillery, and is said to have been besieged after the battle of Killiecrankie (1689) by King William's troops as it was in the hands of supporters of King James VII, who had fled there after the battle.

The structure superseded an earlier tower dating from the 13th century (a stone removed from the site around 1830 was dated 1257). Fedderate was formerly surrounded by a ditch and a bog, and was accessible by means of a causeway and ditch, traces of which could still be seen around 1790. The area has since been drained and cultivated leaving no visible traces of these features.

Fedderate is now on a stony mound made from its own collapse. Two substantial portions of the four storey, L-shaped castle survive, namely the N angle of the main block and part of the E angle of the projecting wing. The long elevation was aligned NW-SE with the re-entrant angle

in the E. The basement and first floor have traces of vaulting.

The great hall was in the NW portion and the ground floor entrance was in the SW wall of the projecting wing and led directly into the kitchen. From here a circular stair to the W gave access to the upper rooms. These features in the SW wall are now reduced and buried by debris but were apparent in the late 19th century.

The walls are of pinned boulder rubble with sandstone dressings. The building measured 18.4m NW-SE by 13.5m NE-SW over walls 1.7m thick and about 14m high. The castle has rounded angles and a marked batter, and the wall is

intaken over the hall vault.

The area to be scheduled is square with sides measuring 24m, and is defined by the surrounding post and wire fence, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a 15th-century towerhouse which has been utilised as a site of defensive settlement from the 13th century for at least 300 years. As such, it provides above ground evidence for domestic architecture of the 15th century, and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation, for the layout of the earlier defensive and settlement, economy, social organisation and material culture from the 13th century onwards.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 84 NE 1.

Reference:

MacGibbon D. and Ross T. (1894) The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, vol. 1, 357.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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