Ancient Monuments

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Scotstarvit Tower

A Scheduled Monument in Cupar, Fife

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Latitude: 56.2897 / 56°17'23"N

Longitude: -3.0188 / 3°1'7"W

OS Eastings: 337031

OS Northings: 711275

OS Grid: NO370112

Mapcode National: GBR 2G.7RQL

Mapcode Global: WH7S8.L5NK

Entry Name: Scotstarvit Tower

Scheduled Date: 30 April 1920

Last Amended: 4 February 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90274

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Ceres

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Cupar

Traditional County: Fife


The monument comprises a tower house, Scotstarvit Tower, which occupies a ridge overlooking the valleys of the River Eden and Craigrothie Burn. It is in the care of the Secretary of State, and this rescheduling is to clarify the extent of the area afforded legal protection.

The tower now stands in isolation but would originally have had one or more courtyards containing ancillary buildings, including a kitchen block. The tower may first have been built after the estates had been confirmed to the Inglis family in 1487 and is believed to have been modified after it was bought for Sir Alexander Inglis by Sir John Scott in 1612. In his time, the house is said to have become 'a kind of college' for men of learning.

The tower stands six storeys in height and is built of finely cut ashlar masonry. A single main room is found at each floor level with smaller closets in the wall thicknesses. The first and third floors are covered by stone vaults and all the floors are connected by a newel stair. The tower was refitted for Sir John Scott in 1627 who placed the arms of himself and those of his wife, Dame Anne Drummond, on the caphouse of the stair tower.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 49m NNW-SSE by 47m transversely, to include the tower house and area around it within which associated remains are likely to survive. The area is bounded on the N,S and W by existing boundary walls. The E boundary runs, from its N-most point SSE for 31m, then turns WSW for 16m and finally runs SSE for 19m to meet the existing boundary wall. This marks the E-most corner of the S boundary of the scheduled area. The area to be scheduled is marked in red on the accompanying map extract. All existing boundary walls and the top 30cm of the pathways which circumscribe the tower are excluded from this scheduling to allow for maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is an outstanding example of a type of dwelling built by the landed gentry of Scotland between the 14th and 17th centuries. It has the potential to add to our knowledge and understanding of domestic architecture and the social history of that period. Its importance is underlined by its status as a property in state care.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland





Cross M., 1994, Bibliography of monuments in the care of Secretary of State for Scotland, 497.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Scotstarvit Tower
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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