Ancient Monuments

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Carslogie House, house and walls

A Scheduled Monument in Cupar, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3165 / 56°18'59"N

Longitude: -3.0489 / 3°2'55"W

OS Eastings: 335218

OS Northings: 714278

OS Grid: NO352142

Mapcode National: GBR 2F.6501

Mapcode Global: WH7S2.4HFL

Entry Name: Carslogie House, house and walls

Scheduled Date: 30 December 1936

Last Amended: 24 August 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM846

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Cupar

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Cupar

Traditional County: Fife


The monument is the remains of Carslogie House and boundary walls. The house survives as a ruin, probably dating to the latter half of the 16th century with extensive alterations in the early 18th century. The monument lies at the base of a slope around 50m above sea level.

The house is rectangular on plan, measuring around 16m southwest to northeast by around 8m northwest to southeast. To the southwest, southeast and northeast of the house are the remains of a later enclosure wall connected to the house. The enclosure measures up to around 130m southwest to northeast by around 40m northwest to southeast.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument'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 all post and wire fencing.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of the monument has been assessed as follows:

Intrinsic Characteristics

Carslogie House, although now ruinous, remained in use until the latter half of the 19th century. It is depicted as roofed in a photograph of 1866 and a sketch dated to 1870. Both depict a four storey house with pitched roof with crow stepped gables along with the walls of the adjoining enclosure. There is also a small, 2 storey extension attached to the north corner of the castle, also with pitched roof.

The exterior walls of sandstone rubble with ashlar dressing now survive to first floor height on the northwest, southwest and around half of the southeast side. The eastern corner of the building collapsed sometime prior to 1964, but remains in situ as a mound of rubble. Much of the interior structure has been lost, but many architectural features can still be seen, such as window and door surrounds, gun loops, the remains of at least one circular stair and several barrel vaulted rooms in the ground floor. No clear visible evidence remains for the extension to the north, although a sealed window in the north wall may indicate its position.

The enclosure wall survives to its full height in at least three places on the north and east side, with the remainder upstanding to a lower height. The southern and western sides now mainly survive as a mix of collapsed masonry and earthworks, with some small fragments of upstanding walling. The wall shows evidence of multiple phases of construction. Some lower parts of the wall built of the same stone as the castle with later alterations in a different stone above. There is also evidence for an original entranceway immediately adjacent to the house and the remains of four square alcoves, thought to be bee boles, built into the enclosure wall to the west of the house.

Despite the ruinous nature of both the house and the enclosure wall, there is no evidence for substantial excavation or disturbance inside the tower or on the areas surrounding it. Therefore there is high potential for the survival of structural remains and archaeological deposits within, beneath and around the upstanding remains and on the terrace to the east of the castle. The deposits might include occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal and pollen. Such buried remains can tell us about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants, and about land use and environment.

The house appears to have been built in the late 16th century although documentary evidence suggests that there may have been an earlier castle on this site. Surviving features in the present structure, such as the first floor fireplace and various gun loops, all have details typical of the late 16th century. The house was significantly altered in the early 18th century when most of the windows were replaced with larger openings with raise margins. A door lintel, reused in a nearby cart shed, bears the date 1710 and probably came from the house. Other changes at this time included a new stair and fireplaces, and potentially the insertion of vaulting at ground floor level.  The layout of these cellars is unusual if they do date to the late 16th century, rather than being later insertions. Systematic investigation of the upstanding and buried remains can therefore enhance our understanding about the date, construction, form and layout of the castle and how this evolved over a long period of time.

Contextual Characteristics

Carslogie House is located on an area of level ground at the base of a slope, around 50m above sea level. The house lies around 2.5km west of the centre of Cupar, and is now adjacent to the modern Carslogie Farm and a number of cottages. In addition to the enclosure walls, a dovecot connected to the house survives around 250m west of the building.

Some other examples of roughly contemporary houses in Fife are Balwearie Tower (listed building reference LB45456, Canmore ID 52922), Scotstarvit Tower (scheduled monument reference SM90274, Canmore ID 31509) and Lordscairnie Castle (scheduled monument reference SM859, Canmore ID 31434). Comparison with these and other similar sites may help us to identify the development sequence of Carslogie. The proximity of these monuments can also give important insights into the late medieval landscape and add to our understanding of social organisation, settlement hierarchy and land-use.

Carslogie House has the potential to broaden our understanding of the nature and chronology of late medieval/early modern defensible houses, their adaptation over time to accommodate new requirements and architectural styles, and their place within the landscape of Fife.

Associative Characteristics

The lands at Carslogie belonged to the Clephane family from the late 12th century through until 1804. It is therefore likely that the Clephanes are responsible for both building Carslogie House in the 16th century and the 18th century alterations. A reference from 1582 records the disposition of the lands of Carslogie and its 'fortalice' to that of George Clephane of Carslogie and his wife Katherine Orme, while a dormer pediment previously found at the site bore the date 1590 and the initials of George Clephane and Katherine Orme. It is therefore possible that an existing tower or house was rebuilt or altered around this time. The 1710 lintel bears the names of David Clephane and his wife Joanna Colville, who may have undertaken the 18th century alteration.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of the date, construction, use and development of late medieval/early modern houses. It is an impressive monument that retains architectural and structural features, including window and door surrounds, gun loops, barrel vaulting, fireplace and staircases. The surviving fabric also shows the development of a late medieval semi-fortified house into an early modern house, and the evidence of the development of the enclosing wall adds to this significance. There is high potential for the preservation of buried features and deposits, including structural and architectural remains relating to other parts of the house. The house makes a significant contribution to today's landscape and would have been a prominent part of the historic landscape. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the character and development of late medieval and early modern houses and associated gardens.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number 31504 (accessed on 31/05/2017).

Coventry, M. (2008). Castles of the Clans: The Strongholds and Seats of 750 Scottish Families and Clans. 1st ed. Musselburgh: Goblinshead, pp.105

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. 89.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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