Ancient Monuments

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Ravensneuk Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Penicuik, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8181 / 55°49'4"N

Longitude: -3.2417 / 3°14'30"W

OS Eastings: 322292

OS Northings: 659008

OS Grid: NT222590

Mapcode National: GBR 51S5.Z7

Mapcode Global: WH6TC.51L4

Entry Name: Ravensneuk Castle

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5609

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Penicuik

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Penicuik

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument consists of the remains of a small 16th-century fortified laird's house known as Ravensneuk Castle.

In 1527 James V granted "Estir and Westir Ravinnisnuke to William Sinclare de Rosling". All that survives of the building is part of the lower storey which rises no more than 1.7m high over walls 0.9m thick. The coarse freestone rubble walls measure 18.3m ENE-WSW by 6m NNW-SSE. The S wall has been removed. The springing of vaulting over a kitchen or cellar can be seen extending about 6m from the E gable. The remainder of the ground floor probably had a beam ceiling. The building was robbed in the 18th century by the first Sir John Clerk (1650-1722) to build a new park wall. His son, the antiquary, also named John, lamented the destruction of the tower and recalled it as being 40 or 50 feet high (12-15m). He secured the tenure of Ravensneuk in 1730, although his family had owned it for a number of years.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 40m E-W by 50m N-S, to include the upstanding remains and an area which is likely to contain further buried features, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a defensive residence dating from the 16th/17th centuries. As such it provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation and analysis, for domestic architecture, land use and human activity. In addition its symbolic value is enhanced by its link with the Clerks of Penicuik and its mention in Scott's well known poem 'Lay of the Last Minstrel'.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT25NW 7.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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