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Inverallochy Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Fraserburgh and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.6565 / 57°39'23"N

Longitude: -1.9331 / 1°55'59"W

OS Eastings: 404088

OS Northings: 862957

OS Grid: NK040629

Mapcode National: GBR P8LH.715

Mapcode Global: WH9N9.8TPB

Entry Name: Inverallochy Castle

Scheduled Date: 11 October 1960

Last Amended: 2 February 2004

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM97

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Rathen

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Fraserburgh and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of Inverallochy Castle, a massive but ruinous castle situated on an area of flat coastal plain, which in the past must have been quite marshy. The monument was first scheduled in 1960. The monument is being rescheduled in order to define more clearly the extent of the scheduled area and to include areas where remains may survive but which were not include in the original scheduling.

The castle appears to be of a single phase and was constructed in courtyard form. The main buildings are arranged around three sides of an irregular quadrangular courtyard, with a substantial and high enclosing wall closing off the fourth or S side. The castle was accessed via a pend through the N wall leading to the courtyard. The principal accommodation was a towerhouse-like structure in the NE corner with a kitchen within a vaulted basement and a hall above. The tower was linked to integral ranges along the N and W walls; the W range may have provided a suite of accommodation in conjunction with the hall in the tower. The E range appears to have been independent from the other ranges and may have provided subsidiary accommodation. The interior buildings are all now very ruinous, with most of the interior filled with tumbled rubble. The enclosing courtyard wall stands between 7-10m high apart from at the NE corner where the remnants of the tower stand to wall-head height.

The architecture of the castle is suggestive of 16th-century date for its construction. Sir William Comyn of Inverallochy, who was made Lord Lyon during the minority of James V, may have been responsible for its construction. However, the architectural details do suggest a construction date in the second half of the 16th century.

The area to be scheduled includes the courtyard and area surrounding the castle where associated archaeology could be expected to survive. This includes an area of land to the N and W which appears to represent an outer courtyard. The area is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 60m NNE-SSW by 55m WNW-ESE, as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is nationally important as the remains of a 16th century courtyard castle. It is relatively unusual for a courtyard castle in apparently being planned and executed in a single phase rather than the more usual pattern of piecemeal development around the core of a towerhouse. Although extensively ruined, the castle remains a notable landmark with the courtyard wall surviving to a considerable extent. A considerable amount of architectural information will be hidden by and amongst the tumble. Its greatest potential however, lies in the archaeology that will survive both inside the buildings, the courtyard and in the immediately surrounding area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in the NMRS as NJ86SE 17


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, 331-3, 5v.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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