Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Removed


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Date Added
Date Removed:
Local Authority
Planning Authority
National Park
NO 44222 80394
344222, 780394

Removal Reason

This building will be removed as part of the Dual Designation 2A project. It will continue to be recognized as a monument of national importance through its designation as a scheduled monument.


Early 16th century with early 17th century additions and alterations (see Notes). 4-storey and attic, rectangular-plan, roofless tower house with 17th century bartizan corbelled out at 3rd floor, round-arched entrance with iron yett at 1st floor, regularly-spaced horizontal gun loops at ground level to all elevations, gable and wall-head stacks. Very irregular fenestration. Random granite and schist boulders and rubble with red sandstone margins. Intermittent remains of eaves cornice. The castle has rounded corners, corbelled to square at 3rd floor. Chamfered window margins to older part; rounded margins to later windows; relieving arches above most windows.

FURTHER DETAILS: principal elevation to S; most windows are to this elevation. Round-arched door way at left of 1st floor to S elevation; 2 large windows to right; smaller windows to upper floors. Windows to other elevations predominantly small and lighting 3rd floor and attic, except large 1st floor window on W elevation. Corbelled bartizan at SE corner with small windows and round gun-loops. Large Wallhead stacks to N and S with windows pierced through centre. Asymmetrical gables with short gablehead stacks.

Some ashlar-coped skews remaining; partially corniced stacks.

INTERIOR: access not possible, but secondary sources indicate that ground floor is barrel-vaulted and accessed by turnpike stair to left of principal entrance. No other internal floors or walls; stair to upper floors collapsed. Some chimney pieces; arched dresser-recesses at 1st floor; some stone window seats to larger windows. Windows grooved for glass.

Statement of Special Interest

A notable 16th century tower house displaying 2 periods of construction, situated prominently at the head of Glenesk on the river peninsular between the confluence of the Waters of Lee and Mark. Despite having stood roofless since the early 19th century, the castle walls are almost complete to the wallhead.

Invermark Castle was built for the Lindsay family, who also owned Edzell Castle. A castle is known to have existed at Invermark in the 14th century, but this earlier structure is thought to have been located on a different site nearby; the present building is commonly believed to have been built in the early 16th century. The author of the New Statistical Account confidently writes that the castle was built in 1526, but no subsequent authors have been able to trace the source of this information. Simpson notes that the earliest record of the castle is from 1554 in the Register of the Great Seal, which mentions the 'Tower, fortalice and manor-place of Invermark'.

A line of what appear to have been corbels, situated above the 2nd floor windows, is generally believed to have supported a parapet walk at the top of the original 16th century building, while the present top floor, bartizan tower and gable are believed to be early 17th century additions. This theory is rather debatable, as the line of corbels is by no means continuous and there is almost no distinguishable difference between the stone work above and below the corbel line. Timothy Pont's map, which was drawn between about 1583 and '96 shows a picture of the castle. His picture shows a 4-storey building with a gable, which suggests that either the castle always did have 4 storeys, or that the upper addition is earlier than the 17th century date usually assigned to it, or that the castle was taller than previously thought and that the top half was taken down and rebuilt. Pont depicts a number of low outbuildings around the tower.

The castle was repaired in 1729, and continued to be inhabited until at least the middle of the 18th century. According to Jervise it was gutted in 1803 and the surrounding offices were demolished so that the stone could be used to build the new Parish Church and Manse. Jervise also mentions that the castle was entered by way of a drawbridge which linked the front door to 'a strong isolated erection of freestone that stood about 12 feet South of the front of the tower' and was 'ascended on the East and West by a flight of steps'. Simpson dismisses this description as a 'garbled recollection'. Jervise was, however, writing within living memory of the castle offices being inhabited and there does not appear to be any evidence that such a stair did not exist, other than that its foundations haven't been found. Since it was built of freestone this is perhaps not very surprising, as such easily-worked stone would have been most attractive to the builders of the church and manse. Alexander Gold, writing in 1764 (ie when the castle was still inhabited) also notes that the castle was entered by a drawbridge, although he doesn't mention what supported the far end of it.



Shown on Timothy Pont, NORTH ESK (Pont 30). Alexander Gold, A GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PARISHES OF EDZELL, LOCHLEE etc. (1764) at National Archives, Ref GD45/26/70. FIRST STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, Volume 5 (1793), p361. NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, FORFARSHIRE (1833), p194. A Jervise, THE LAND OF THE LINDSAYS (1853), p92-3. J Warden, ANGUS OR FORFARSHIRE, Volume IV (1884), p225. MacGibbon and Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Volume 3 (1889), pp459-461 (includes sketch drawings and plans). Simpson, W, INVERMARK CASTLE in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland No 68 (1933-4) pp41-50 (this is the most thorough description of the castle). Old photographs at NMRS.

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Printed: 21/11/2018 03:56