Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Peel Ring of Lumphanan, castle, Peel Bog of Lumphanan

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

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 57.1223 / 57°7'20"N

Longitude: -2.7017 / 2°42'5"W

OS Eastings: 357613

OS Northings: 803699

OS Grid: NJ576036

Mapcode National: GBR WV.5765

Mapcode Global: WH7NC.G7QV

Entry Name: Peel Ring of Lumphanan, castle, Peel Bog of Lumphanan

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 9 October 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90238

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Lumphanan

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the site and remains of a castle and its surrounding defences. The earliest record of a castle on this site is of thirteenth-century date, but local tradition, supported by scholarly opinion, places the death of Macbeth at or near Lumphanan, and may reflect earlier use of the site.

The castle known as the Peel Bog, or Peel Ring, of Lumphanan appears to have been established in the thirteenth century by the de Lundins or Durward family, the hereditary door-wards or ushers to the king, whose chief seat lay at Coull, 9.6km to the W.

The castle was probably the scene of the submission of Sir John de Melville, of Raith in Fife, to Edward I of England in July 1296. After a period of abandonment, the castle mound was reoccupied in 1487 when Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns, Perthshire, built the residence known as Ha'ton House on it. This was in ruins by the eighteenth century.

The castle's remains consist of a large earthen mound, measuring some 46m by 37m and probably in part natural, rising about 9m above the bottom of a now mostly dry though boggy ditch or moat, some 15m wide, which surrounds it. The ditch, which was evidently originally filled with water from the Lumphanan Burn, is bounded by an earthen bank standing 3m high and measuring 2.45m across the top, with a further shallow ditch 3m wide lying beyond it.

Remains of a post-medieval curling pond, filled by a stream controlled by a sluice, lie in the south-western part of the ditch. The summit of the central mound is ringed with the lowest courses of a post-medieval stone dyke, 0.9m thick, which encloses the foundations of the fifteenth-century hall.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of the castle and its outer defences, representing an oval area defined by the modern fence line and measuring some 140m NW-SE by 165m SW-NE, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good surviving example of an earthwork castle with water-filled outer defences. Its significance is enhanced by its recorded historical associations and by the potential of its surviving below-ground archaeological remains for shedding further light on its structural development and on the material culture of its occupants in different periods. The traditional association with Macbeth adds interest to this site.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 50 SE 2.


Bogdan, N. and Bryce, I. B. D. (1991) 'Castle, manors and 'town houses' survey', Discovery Excav Scot, 33.

Cruden, S. (1960) 'The Scottish Castle', Edinburgh, 28-9.

Fraser, G. M. (1929) 'Lumphanan and its historical interests', The Deeside Fld, 1st, vol. 4, 11.

NSA (1845) The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, 15v, Edinburgh, Vol. 12, 1090.

Simpson, W. D. (1929) 'A compendium of the Deeside castles', The Deeside Fld, vol. 4, 24 plan (1).
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Peel Ring of Lumphanan
Find out more

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.