Ancient Monuments

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Kindrochit Castle

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

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Latitude: 57.0052 / 57°0'18"N

Longitude: -3.3991 / 3°23'56"W

OS Eastings: 315120

OS Northings: 791318

OS Grid: NO151913

Mapcode National: GBR W0.DQDS

Mapcode Global: WH6MG.R6L2

Entry Name: Kindrochit Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1967

Last Amended: 22 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2583

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Crathie and Braemar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the fragmentary remains of Kindochrit Castle, a late 14th century tower house incorporating earlier work. The monument was first scheduled in 1967, but an inadequate area was scheduled to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The monument lies within the town of Braemar. The castle occupies a strong defensive location and is protected by the Water of Clunie to the W and by an ancient mill lade to the E. Its location had considerable strategic value, overlooking a major crossing of the Clunie.

The site was used as a palace, or hunting seat, by King Robert II in the later 14th century. Charters and the Exchequer Rolls indicate that he visited Kindrochit almost every year, from 1371 to 1388. The remains of this castle, which were excavated by Douglas Simpson in the 1920s, are thought to have consisted of the structure to the N and E of the tower house, which was later imposed on the building on a slightly different alignment. The remains of the earlier structure stand to a maximum height of 3m and are believed to be a fragment of an oblong hall, around 30m long by about 9m wide, with unvaulted cellars below and quadrangular towers at the corners.

The tower house, of which only the ground floor survives, was probably built around 1390, when Robert II granted a licence to Malcolm Drummond to build a new tower at Kindrochit. The tower house is around 19.5m by 13m in size, with walls 3m thick. The ground floor was divided into three chambers consisting of a prison, which communicated with the floor above via a hatch, and two storage cellars. The storage cellars were accessed from the courtyard through a doorway in the W wall, and from the floor above via a small service stair.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 78.5m N-S by 45m transversely. The area includes the remains of the earlier hall, the superimposed tower house and an area to the south where foundations indicate the presence of other associated structures. The scheduled area is bounded to the W by the Water of Clunie, to the E by the public foot path and the small cafe with its car park, and to the S by a fence line.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a 14th century castle of several phases. This monument contributes to our understanding of the development of medieval defensive and domestic structures, their social history and material culture. Its importance is enhanced by its association with King Robert II and by the numerous documentary references to the castle, including a licence to crenellate.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NO 19 SE 1.


Simpson W D 1923, 'The Royal Castle of Kindrochit in Mar', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 57, 1922-3, 75-97.

Simpson W D 1928, 'The excavation of Kindrochit Castle, Aberdeenshire' Antiq J, 8, 1, Jan 1928, 69-75.

Simpson W D 1949, 'The earldom of Mar: being a sequel to 'The Province of Mar', 1943, Aberdeen, 42-6.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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