Ancient Monuments

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Clackriach Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Central Buchan, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.5137 / 57°30'49"N

Longitude: -2.1141 / 2°6'50"W

OS Eastings: 393263

OS Northings: 847067

OS Grid: NJ932470

Mapcode National: GBR P84V.VJ2

Mapcode Global: WH9NZ.HDJR

Entry Name: Clackriach Castle

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5534

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Old Deer

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Central Buchan

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument consists of the remains of Clackriach Castle, a small defensive residence of late 16th/early 17th century date. The lands of Clackriach belonged to a branch of the family of Keith. Robert Keith, the grandson of the fourth Earl Marishal of Scotland, had the lands and the baronies erected into the temporal Lordship of Altrie in 1587, the charter of which included "Clauckriauch" and the Mill of Crichie.

The fragmentary remains of this dwelling are located in a small wood 50m NNW of the farmhouse at Mains of Clackriach. In the late 19th century it was described as, "a quadrangular building, having a projecting wing". All that survives of the structure now is the N angle. The walls are 1m thick and are composed of pinned boulder-rubble with a rubble core. The remaining angle portion measures 2.3mm NW-SE by 2.6m NE-SW internally and is two storeys high (c.6m).

The first floor is indicated by a scarcement which carried the joists for a timber floor. On the first floor the NW wall terminates in the splayed jamb of a lintelled window which is grooved for glass in the upper two thirds, the lower portion probably having wooden shutters. Hollowed out in the NW angle is a semi-circular recess with a door

jamb; this may have been a garderobe or held a newel stair.

Presumably much of the masonry has been re-used in field dykes and in the steading lying to the ENE. The area to be scheduled is rectangular, measuring a maximum of 20m NE-SW by 10m NW-SE, to include the upstanding portion of the tower and related buried features, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is an example, albeit fragmentary, of a site of defensive occupation dating from the late 16th/early 17th century. As such, it provides upstanding evidence which contributes to our understanding of the nature and complexity of domestic buildings during the late medieval/early modern period in Scotland. It also has the potential to provide further evidence, through a combination of historical research and archaeological excavation, which may clarify the position, layout and social archaeology of the building.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 94 NW 1.


Ferguson J 1909, 'The Old Castles of Buchan', Trans Buchan Fld Club, Vol. 10, 77.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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