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Gight Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Turriff and District, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.4425 / 57°26'33"N

Longitude: -2.2897 / 2°17'22"W

OS Eastings: 382708

OS Northings: 839172

OS Grid: NJ827391

Mapcode National: GBR N9P1.RQL

Mapcode Global: WH8N4.S6V9

Entry Name: Gight Castle

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1965

Last Amended: 3 March 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2508

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: milestone, guide plate, direction post; Secular: castle

Location: Fyvie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Turriff and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument to be scheduled comprises the remains of Gight (or Formantine) Castle and associated features. An earlier scheduling included no more than the remains of the castle itself. The present scheduling extends the area to be scheduled to include the remains of an associated designed landscape and other structures.

Gight is one of a group of four contemporary Aberdeenshire castles, the others being Craig, Delgaty and Towie Barclay, that were almost certainly built by the same master mason sometime in the 16th century. Although there is no documentary evidence for its date it is said to have been erected by George Gordon, the second laird, who succeeded his father in 1513 and died after 1570. It is mentioned as a 'tower and fortalice' in 1577. Latterly it belonged to Catherine Gordon Byron, the mother of Lord Byron, who alludes to it in 'Childe Harold'. In 1787, she sold it to the 3rd earl of Aberdeen to pay off her debts, and it became the residence of Lord Haddo, the earl's eldest son, until his death in 1791. Since then it has remained uninhabited.

The castle is built to an L-plan and measures 20.74 by 16.16m overall. The door is a little removed from the re-entrant angle and is set in the principal range, rather than in the jamb. It gives access to a rib-vaulted vestibule, with shields bearing armorial achievements at the springing and intersection of the ribs. That on the central boss displays the Arma Christi, the symbols of the Passion. From the entrance vestibule a passage runs the length of the building, communicating with the basement rooms and leading to a newel stair set between the principal range and the jamb. The basement comprises a kitchen occupying the jamb, and two barrel-vaulted cellars and a bakehouse occupying the main range. On the first floor, the principal range is occupied by the hall and the jamb by a private room, with a small vaulted bed closet set in the space between them. The upper parts of the castle are heavily ruined. In a later period another range was added to the NE side of the original tower-house.

Some 18m E of the castle stands a milestone recording 'H[addo] H[ouse] 5 M[iles]'. A stone built platform exists on the SW side of the castle, on the edge of the gorge. To the SE there extends a series of artificial terraces, on the last of which lie the foundations of a row of stone buildings.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains described above and represents an irregular area, extending to a maximum of 170m NNW-SSE by 115m ENE-WSW, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography
No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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