Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Knockdavie Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0802 / 56°4'48"N

Longitude: -3.268 / 3°16'4"W

OS Eastings: 321182

OS Northings: 688215

OS Grid: NT211882

Mapcode National: GBR 25.NXFR

Mapcode Global: WH6RZ.SF0P

Entry Name: Knockdavie Castle

Scheduled Date: 20 January 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5251

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Burntisland

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of the remains of a small 17th century house which has had two floors and stands on a small piece of level ground on the shoulder of a hill.

MacGibbon and Ross suggest the castle belonged to a Douglas in the 17th century, known as an opponent of the Covenanters. It is sited on a raised mound 1.5m high.

The building is approximately oblong on plan, measuring 22m E-W by 12m N-S. The masonry is random rubble with lime mortar. There are substantial upstanding portions in the east and west ends and the ground plan is easily read. The ground floor was divided into two by a partition wall. The NW angle stands to a height of c.5-6m from exterior ground level. Much of this west end has fallen into the interior. In the north wall are the lower courses of a turnpike stair.

The west portion may have had a vaulted basement and the top of a debris blocked doorway can be seen in the south west wall. The south wall is fragmentary, the main portion surviving in the south east. Here there is a door space and a mural cupboard. There are the remains of a rectangular structure built onto the south east angle which drops to a lower level, measuring c.3.5m square. There are vague footings to the west and south of the castle, although there is insufficient detail to make out individual structures.

The area to be scheduled is square and measures 40m on each side, to include the castle and an area surrounding it containing buried features which may be contemporary with the monument, but excluding the dyke that forms the eastern boundary of the scheduled area, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it preserves evidence of 17th century domestic architecture and has the potential, through excavation, to increase our understanding of the everyday lives of a family of the minor nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 28 NW 9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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