Ancient Monuments

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Colinton Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Colinton/Fairmilehead, City of Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9108 / 55°54'38"N

Longitude: -3.2549 / 3°15'17"W

OS Eastings: 321654

OS Northings: 669340

OS Grid: NT216693

Mapcode National: GBR 88X.6N

Mapcode Global: WH6SR.ZP7L

Entry Name: Colinton Castle

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1925

Last Amended: 3 March 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1197

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Edinburgh

County: City of Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Colinton/Fairmilehead

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument is a ruinous L-shaped house reputedly abandoned in 1650 after being burnt down by Cromwell's troops.

The main block runs roughly E-W with a slightly projecting tower on the S. The vaults of the cellars on the ground floor are intact with a corridor on the south side connecting them. There is a turnpike stair rising to the first floor within the southern tower and one cellar beyond this to the E. The projecting arm of the tower to the N contains the main kitchen which now lacks its vault.

There is a turnpike stair in the re-entrant angle which rose to all the upper floors. On the first floor there is little to define the main hall which, in all likelihood, overlay the three western cellars. The S tower at this level had four windows across its width and another on each return forming a fine bay of six square-headed windows. All but one of these are now walled up.

This may have marked the position of the dais in the hall before the insertion into this bay of the turnpike stair which rises only to the first floor. There are considerable banks against the walls, formed of toppled masonry from the building.

The area to be scheduled includes the standing remains and an area 5m wide around on all sides, but excluding upstanding structures associated with the neighbouring modern house. The area is L-shaped measuring 34m WSW-ENE by 25m at its broadest as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because, though ruinous, it shows the development of a fine residence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; from a simple rectangular tower, to an L-plan to a more palatial residence. Also the ground around the tower rises significantly suggesting undisturbed fallen remains which may prove to be archaeologically rich.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 26 NW 4.


MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, Vol. 3, 540-2.

RCAHMS (1929) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Tenth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Midlothian and West Lothian, Edinburgh, 15-16, No. 17. Fig. 39.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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