Ancient Monuments

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Vayne Castle, castle 290m SSW of Vayne

A Scheduled Monument in Brechin and Edzell, Angus

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Latitude: 56.7282 / 56°43'41"N

Longitude: -2.8294 / 2°49'45"W

OS Eastings: 349349

OS Northings: 759920

OS Grid: NO493599

Mapcode National: GBR WP.Z96L

Mapcode Global: WH7Q7.H4XY

Entry Name: Vayne Castle, castle 290m SSW of Vayne

Scheduled Date: 28 October 1977

Last Amended: 28 July 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4015

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Fern

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Brechin and Edzell

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is the remains of Vayne Castle, built probably in the later 16th century and now visible as a ruin standing up to three storeys high. The castle was built on a Z-plan, and comprises a central rectangular block, a square tower at the NE angle and a circular tower at the SW angle. The topography of the site suggests that a courtyard lay to the S.

The rectangular central block measures about 14m E-W by 9m transversely, giving internal dimensions of about 11m by 7m. The E gable survives to three storeys in height and provides evidence for a vaulted ground floor, a high first floor, and a second floor with extant fireplace and window aperture. A tower at the NE corner is smaller, measuring about 7m square externally, and a turret containing a wheel stair has been inserted in the angle between the tower and the E gable of the main block. The N and S walls of the NE tower stand to almost the same height as the E gable of the main block. A round tower at the SW corner of the main block measures about 7.5m in external diameter, and the base of a stair turret is visible, corbelled out at first floor level, in the angle between the round tower and the S front of the main block. The round tower now stands one to two storeys high, the N side being the best preserved. To the S of the buildings, the putative courtyard measures about 35m E-W by 25m transversely, with low earthworks suggesting a square SW corner. The castle lies at about 100m above sea level and stands just above the steeply sloping N side of Tammy's Pot, a den through which the Noran Water flows. The ground rises gradually away from the castle to the N, but the building occupies a commanding position when approached from the S.

The scheduled area is a trapezium shape on plan, to include the remains of the castle and an area around it within which evidence for the castle's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of modern post-and-wire fences. The monument was first scheduling in 1977, but the documents did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good example of a late medieval tower, with some unusual features and an identifiable courtyard area on the S side. It can make a significant addition to our understanding of fortified, high status dwellings in eastern Scotland and the use of areas immediately around such structures. Although a ruin, parts of the structure still stand three storeys tall, giving a good understanding and appreciation of the original form and height of the castle. In addition to the upstanding masonry, there is high potential for the presence of buried archaeological remains that can provide information about the date and character of the tower's occupation, including evidence for the daily life of the inhabitants, trading contacts and economy. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to understand the form and function of medieval towers in eastern Scotland and their role in the expression of status.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

RCAHMS records the castle as NO45NE 1. The Angus SMR records it as NO45NE0001.


MacGibbon, D and Ross, T 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v: 4, 55-8, fig 640. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS 1984 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of central Angus, 2 (medieval and later), Angus District, Tayside Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series, no 22, Edinburgh, 16, no 78.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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