Ancient Monuments

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Cruivie Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Tay Bridgehead, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3947 / 56°23'41"N

Longitude: -2.943 / 2°56'34"W

OS Eastings: 341885

OS Northings: 722895

OS Grid: NO418228

Mapcode National: GBR 2K.14RF

Mapcode Global: WH7RQ.RJRL

Entry Name: Cruivie Castle

Scheduled Date: 16 October 1935

Last Amended: 22 August 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM849

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Logie (Fife)

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Tay Bridgehead

Traditional County: Fife


The monument is the remains of Cruivie Castle, built probably in the late 15th or early 16th century and now visible as a ruined tower standing two storeys high. The castle lies about 2km N of Balmullo on an outcrop of rock that projects about 3m above the surrounding, relatively level, ground. The site is around 50m above sea level. It is overlooked from the W and S, but has views to the N. The monument was originally scheduled in 1935, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Cruivie Castle is a tower of 'L' -shaped plan, with a main block aligned N-S and a wing at its SE corner. The walls stand to a height of over 6m and represent the ground and first floors of the building. The interior of the main block measures 10.7m by 5.2m within walls 2.5m thick, while the interior of the wing measures 4.4m E-W by 3.2m transversely. The masonry is of large blocks of whin rubble, brought to courses and built with pinnings, but many of the dressings around the doors and windows have been removed. At ground-floor level, each block is occupied by a single cellar with no door between them; access to the ground floor of the main block was via a stair from the first floor, while a gap in the N wall of the wing may indicate an external door. The main entrance to the tower is at first-floor level, opening into the main block near the S end of the W wall. At this level, each part of the tower is again occupied by a single room, the main block being lit by windows to the N and E and the wing by a window opening S. The wing has a fireplace in the N wall and a garderobe in the SE angle. A doorway through the E wall of the main block links the two rooms and this wall also contains the remains of a straight stair that gave access to the second floor, now largely missing. The rock on which the tower stands has been cut away on all sides. There is no evidence that this quarrying was contemporary with construction of the castle and it probably post-dates the occupation of the tower as a high-status dwelling.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains of the castle and an area around it within which evidence for its construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the disused farm machinery lying in the area.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an upstanding tower that can make a significant contribution to our understanding of castles and high-status dwellings in medieval Fife. It survives in relatively stable condition and stands to at least two storeys in height. It represents an important component of both the medieval and contemporary landscape. Unusual features include the position of the entrance and the lack of a doorway between the ground-floor rooms. In addition to the upstanding structure, there is good potential for buried archaeological remains that can provide information about the date and character of occupation. Documentary sources provide information about the date of the tower and people associated with it, showing that it was part of a royal grant made in 1539-40. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability understand the form and function of medieval towers in Fife and their role in the expression of status.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the castle as NO42SW 4.


RCAHMS 1933 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eleventh report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan, Edinburgh, pp. 200-1, no. 407.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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