Ancient Monuments

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Corse Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.1552 / 57°9'18"N

Longitude: -2.7476 / 2°44'51"W

OS Eastings: 354871

OS Northings: 807398

OS Grid: NJ548073

Mapcode National: GBR WS.393J

Mapcode Global: WH7N4.RFT2

Entry Name: Corse Castle

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1964

Last Amended: 21 August 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2414

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Coull

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument consists of Corse Castle, a defensive residence of sixteenth-century date. Built by William Forbes in 1581, the castle is of unusual layout, combining aspects of the "Z" and "L-plan" into one design. The long elevations of the L-shape lie S and W with a round tower projecting from the NW angle. The overall dimensions of the castle are 11.25m E- W by 13.1m N-S over walls 1.2m thick. The dressings are of granite and the walls of granite rubble are complete to wall head level in the S portion of the building. The NW tower and abutting walls are reduced to a height of 1.1m and have been capped. There are corbelled turrets on the three angles of the E side. A stair turret projecting from the centre of the S wall would have served as a watch tower. The entrance which has an inscribed lintel is in the re-entrant angle of the N wall. Above this are two blank panels with mouldings, a square one beneath an ogee shaped one. Although the internal arrangements have been destroyed it appears that the SW portion contained a vaulted cellar. The hall was probably on the first floor in the SW portion of the castle. The S part of the castle has had four storeys and a garret above a partly vaulted ground floor. Several fire-places in the E wall of the E wing indicate the location of private chambers. Defence was a necessity judging by the bar holes on windows, numerous shot holes, some with lozenge patterns protecting the entrance and the S stair turret. The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 30m E-W by 35m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of a dwelling designed as a statement expressing wealth, security and social status. In addition it retains architectural details combining traditional defensive features with an interest in surface decoration characteristic of the sixteenth century. Although part of a large group of defensive houses built by the minor nobility during the later Middle Ages it is of individual ground plan. As well as providing architectural evidence of Scotland's past, it has the potential to provide scientific information retrievable through excavation which may increase our understanding of the social structure, domestic occupation, construction methods and material culture of those who built and inhabited the castle during the late medieval period in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is RCAHMS number NJ 50 NW 2.


MacGibbon D and Ross T 1887-92, "Castellated and Domestic Architecture in Scotland', Vol. 2, 265.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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