Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 29839 14092
329839, 714092


Dated 1578 on parapet (lower part possibly earlier). 4-storey square-plan small tower, with basement. Fragment of larger, earlier structure, (ragged stonework at south east and south west where latter adjoined) and now incorporated in garden walls, with former garden buildings to south, and slate-roofed lean-to shed against east wall. Tower rubble-built, with ashlar dressings. 3 doors to north elevation;

square-headed and mostly roll-moulded windows to each elevation, some blocked, some altered; single central Gothic-traceried window high on east and west walls (nests in parapet above); blocked segmental opening to south over basement. Moulded cill band to north and to west elevations, additional string to west. Continuous corbelled parapet with

gun ports, gargoyles and angle turrets; octagonal turrets (each with sculptured head in circular panel) over south east and north east latter above newel stair and capped by pointed, faceted low spire with lucarnes (now lowered in height, with lead covering) and 'sunburst' finial (circular turrets over remaining corners). Single coped wall-head stack; flat roof. Interior is altered; basement has later vaulting, and

apparently used as an ice house, probably in 19th century. Upper chamber has 18th century pine panelling. 2 large rectangular-plan garden enclosures in L-plan and sharing common wall dated 1825; larger enclosure is to south of Monimail Tower, smaller to west of tower. Rubble-built, with ashlar dressings and flat coping, stepped to slopes.

Statement of Special Interest

Scheduled monument. Scheduled Area 6 December 2000.

The bishop of St Andrews has a residence at Monimail since the 14th century tradition ascribed this tower to Cardinal Beaton (assassinated 1546), but the charter granting Monimail House to James Balfour (later to Pittendreich) describes it as being then ruinous (1564); the tower bears the initials and arms of Balfour of Pittendreich and is dated 1578, the year it was granted to James Balfour, son of the abvoe so the restoration/rebuilding work must in fact have been done for the younger James Balfour. 1969 drawing included in Gillespie and Scott drawings index in SNMR. The Agricultural survey of Fife (1800) states that this tower had "evidently been a part of a much more extensive building, the remains of which can, at this day, be easily traced". Small rubble- built vaulted structure (possible icehouse?) to north is open at west end, and has gun-port on south wall. Dated lintel, in common wall, also inscribed with initials of David, Earl of Leven and Melville.



RCAHMS INVENTORY OF FIRE 1933. pp 212-4 (No 428) MacGibbon and Ross, CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE vol III pp 448-9 A H Millar, FIFE... 1895. Vol I pp 199-201.

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.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. 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.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 25/08/2019 07:41