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Pittulie Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Troup, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.693 / 57°41'34"N

Longitude: -2.0936 / 2°5'36"W

OS Eastings: 394521

OS Northings: 867027

OS Grid: NJ945670

Mapcode National: GBR P85D.CKP

Mapcode Global: WH9N0.TW8T

Entry Name: Pittulie Castle

Scheduled Date: 11 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5578

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Pitsligo

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Troup

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument consists of the remains of Pittulie Castle, a defensive residence which is of 16th to 17th century date.

The lands of Pittulie were held by the Frasers from the 14th century. It is thought that the house was built after the marriage between Alexander Fraser and Margaret Abernethy of Saltoun in 1595-6. The L- shaped mansion lies in a cultivated field overlooking the sea. The earliest surviving part of the building is a three-storey, square tower which adjoins a lower block, lying E-W, and dating from about 1700. A circular stair-turret is corbelled out from the first floor level in the re-entrant angle.

The main block has had a shallow basement, one storey and a garret. Large fireplaces dominated each gable in this block. A projecting circular stair-case towards the E end of the S block gave access to the upper level from the first floor. The walls of Pittulie stand to roof height and are of random rubble construction. The house measures 22.8m E-W by 12.4m overall, with the tower projecting 5.4m from the N wall. The walls are about 0.8m thick.

The S elevation of the main block has an elegant seven bay front with central entrance and symmetrical fenestration, the openings are all square-headed. On the SE and SW angles are the remains of corbelled turrets. A particularly unusual feature of the square tower are the pair of rectangular oriel windows set across the NW and NE angles at second floor height. These light the apartment formerly known as the Laird's room.

The main entrance, with cable moulding, is in the N wall of the tower, another doorway with sandstone dressings cuts through the E wall. On the N face are two square blank panels surmounted by a triangular pediment with faint traces of carving. At wall head level is a lozenge shaped panel. Adjoining the NW tower are a cluster of later domestic buildings including a kitchen with large chimney stack, now ruinous. The remains of a barmkin wall and dovecot survive in the cultivated field around the castle.

The area to be scheduled is square, aligned NNW-SSE, with sides measuring a maximum of 35m, to include the castle and an area which is likely to contain related buried features, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as it is a fine example of a fortified house, the design of which displays innovation and personal interpretation of contemporary design and local styles through its layout and treatment of architectural details. As a rare type and as part of a large group of late Medieval defensive buildings it provides significant evidence of the past, retrievable through the processes of research and excavation, which may increase our understanding of architectural construction and technology, society and material culture during the period of its occupation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ96NW 6.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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