Ancient Monuments

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Abercorn Castle, remains of

A Scheduled Monument in Linlithgow, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9978 / 55°59'51"N

Longitude: -3.4719 / 3°28'18"W

OS Eastings: 308297

OS Northings: 679289

OS Grid: NT082792

Mapcode National: GBR 1X.V5ZB

Mapcode Global: WH5R4.MHYW

Entry Name: Abercorn Castle, remains of

Scheduled Date: 27 November 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7869

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Abercorn

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Linlithgow

Traditional County: West Lothian

Description

The monument comprises the remains of Abercorn Castle, a stronghold of the Black Douglases in the early-mid 15th century. A low, tree-covered mound created in the 18th century during landscaping work now covers the remains of masonry structures. Traces of a surrounding ditch are visible amongst dense undergrowth.

Excavation in the 1960s revealed fragments of buildings dating to the late 15th / early 16th century, which incorporated re-used stone of an earlier, medieval date. Wall footings were interpreted as forming part of a medieval tower house, believed to be that captured and partially destoyed by James II in the siege of Abercorn in the summer of 1455.

The area to be scheduled is circular in shape with a diameter of 67m, centred on the centre of the mound, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the site of Abercorn Castle, stronghold of the Black Douglass, which was captured and partially destroyed by James II in 1455. It has the potential to contribute to our knowledge of fortified domestic architecture and to our understanding of the 15th-century power struggle between Scotland's most powerful baronial family and the monarchy

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT 07 NE 2.

References:

Rea, A. (1968) 'Abercorn Castle' in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 51.

Tabraham, C. J. (1997) Scotland's Castles, 95.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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