Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 22833 27442
322833, 727442


Possibly 17th century. Interesting early, 2-stage, truncated polyhedral Baroque sundial. 1st stage with faceted single tier square base giving way to squat bulbous pedestal; 2nd stage with complex multi-faceted globe of vertical and facet dials, all faces eroded.

Statement of Special Interest

The Fingask Castle sundial is an important example, of some antiquity. It is located in the fine grounds of Fingask Castle along with a collection of separately listed early statuary. Although weathered, the dial retains evidence of an interesting highly complex faceted design closely resembling, in fact almost duplicating the 3rd stage, of the fine example at Glamis Castle (see separate listing) which MacGibbon and Ross say 'may be regarded as certainly one of the finest monumental dials in Scotland'. It is not uncommon for such early sundials to become polyglot structures over the centuries, and 1993 photographs of this dial held at the RCAHMS show the dial surmounted by four rampant lions supporting a mermaid figure.

There has in the past been confusion between this dial and another example (no longer at Fingask) dated 1563, and thought to have originated from Holyrood Palace. The provenance for this other example relied upon the testimony of Sir Patrick Murray Threipland, provost of Perth in 1665, who purchased Fingask Castle and estate in 1672. A photograph taken in 1989 at Fingask and held at the RCAHMS accords with a description in the 1861 OS Name Book of 'an octagonal block on a pillar, with a horse's head finial, marked as a sundial with 11 faces and a worn date which could well be 1563'. If the date is accurate, this would be one of the oldest dials in Europe, but its whereabouts are not at present (2007) known.

The first garden at Fingask was laid out during the 17th century, and improved in the late 18th century when James Stobie was factor. By the start of the 17th century, when gracious living began to flourish, formal gardens were being developed around the traditional tower house in the form of 'parterres and knot gardens, sundials and fountains' (Buxbaum, p7). Intense scientific interest led to early publications on the construction of sundials 'in which definite rules are laid down for the guidance of the dial-maker, so as to ensure his producing a work which will accurately note the passing hours' (MacGibbon & Ross, p357).

Category changed from A to B, 28 June 2007.



Melville Fair Land of Gowrie (Illus). N Haynes Perth & Kinross (2000), p196. OS Name Book (1861). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol 117, A R Somerville 'The ancient sundials of Scotland' (1987), p242. Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes Tayside, Central and Fife (1987). Donaldson and Morpeth A Dictionary of Scottish History (1977), p216. MacGibbon and Ross The Castellated and Domestic Architect of Scotland Vol V (1990 facsimile of 1887-92 edition). RCAHMS Ref Nos C/15010 (1993), 14789 (1989). Tim Buxbaum Scottish Garden Buildings (1989).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

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The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

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Printed: 27/01/2023 11:01