Ancient Monuments

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Huntly Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.4548 / 57°27'17"N

Longitude: -2.7813 / 2°46'52"W

OS Eastings: 353215

OS Northings: 840770

OS Grid: NJ532407

Mapcode National: GBR M9H0.NL6

Mapcode Global: WH7LL.7WTG

Entry Name: Huntly Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1921

Last Amended: 16 March 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90165

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Huntly

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of Huntly Castle and the tree-lined avenue that approaches it from the south. The monument was first scheduled in 1921, but an inadequate area was included to protect all the archaeological remains and elements of designed landscape. The present rescheduling rectifies this.

Three castles have successively guarded the crossing of the Deveron at its confluence with the Bogie. The first, the Peel of Strathbogie, was an earth and timber motte and bailey castle, built in the late 12th century. The motte can still be seen. The second castle, built c.1400 on the bailey of the first, was a strong L-plan tower of the Gordons, the foundations of which can still be traced.

The third, a massive rectangular great tower with rounded corner-turret, known as the 'new warke' and standing over 20m high, was begun in the later 15th century, remodelled in the 1550s and adorned with oriels and armorials in the early 17th century. This stood at the SW corner of a larger complex, comprising four ranges of buildings set around a central courtyard.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, with maximum dimensions of 570m between its northernmost and southernmost points and 210m between its easternmost and westernmost points, to include the remains of the successive castles and the avenue that approaches them from Gordon Schools to the south, and an area of ground around the visible remains of the castle and flanking the avenue, within which further evidence for the history of the site may survive.

The top 30cm of all road surfaces is excluded, to allow for their maintenance. The area now to be scheduled is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it illustrates the development of Scottish castle design on one site over five centuries, from the 12th century to the 17th, and the final incorporation around 1800 of the ruined structure into the designed landscape associated with the house, Huntley Lodge (formerly Sandiestone), which had by then replaced it.

Its importance is enhanced by the prominent political role played by its owners, the Gordon earls (later marquises) of Huntly, in Scottish affairs in the 16th and 17th centuries, and by the resulting wealth of documentary evidence that this provides for the castle's history at that time.

The surviving above- and below-ground remains contribute further, or through excavation have the potential to contribute, to our understanding of artistic, architectural, social and cultural history from the middle ages to the end of the 18th century.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 54 SW 9.


MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, vol. 2, 277.
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Huntly Castle
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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