Listed Building

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

MURRAY ROAD, ROSYTH CASTLELB26060

Status: Removed

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
12/01/1971
Date Removed:
28/10/2015
Local Authority
Fife
Planning Authority
Fife
Burgh
Dunfermline
NGR
NT 10870 82098
Coordinates
310870, 682098

Removal Reason

Dual designation

Description

Late 15th century; altered and extended later 16th and earlier 17th centuries. Original 3-storey and attic rectangular plan tower house to NE; slightly projecting 17th century stair tower to S. Remains of 16th and 17th century ranges (mainly later 16th century) attached to S and W forming former rectangular enclosed courtyard. Former 3-storey N range (to W of tower) with stone porch at main entrance (N side). S and E ranges comprise only foundations/lowest stages of walls. Tower roughly coursed dressed sandstone; coursed sandstone rubble elsewhere. Chamfered reveals to tower openings. Slightly projecting parapet to tower; line in masonry below indicates level of former barmkin enclosing tower on all sides.

TOWER: S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: shallow basket-arched entrance (probably 17th century with adjacent stairtower) to right of centre; studded boarded timber door. Window above to 1st floor; arrowhead opening to 2nd floor. Inserted window with relieving arch to left of 2nd floor. Gabled stairtower projects to right. Small window to each of 5 upper stages; lowest one partially blocked when gabled range (no longer existing) added at right angles to S. Blocked former entrance to range below. Remains of keyed-in masonry to outer right. N ELEVATION: window to right of centre to 1st and 2nd floors. E ELEVATION: window to right of centre to ground, 1st and 2nd floors; upper ones inserted/enlarged; that to 1st floor is large mullioned and transomed former 8-light (3 mullions missing); relieving arch to that above. Window to left to 1st floor; arrowhead opening above to 2nd floor. Narrow window to 6 stages of tower to left; lowest one blocked. 3 low recesses along base of elevation; at least 2 are outlets to garderobes; other one probably a drain. W ELEVATION: window to centre to ground and 1st floors; that to 1st floor mullioned and transomed former 8-light (lower mullion missing); inscribed '- I' 'S M N' 'ANNO 1635'. Remains of lower height N range adjoins at right angles to outer left. Inserted entrance at 1st floor level into N range. Rubble and keyed-in masonry to right indicates position of former stair turret rising from 1st to 2nd floors (thought to have been original point of entrance to tower, via forestair within earlier barmkin). INTERIOR: access to upper floors by ladder as only bottom few steps of 17th century turnpike staircase intact. Retains many original/early features. Ground and 1st floors vaulted. Corbels to ground floor indicate former subdivision into 2 floors (upper one or entresol formerly reached by service staircase, remains of which are still visible within window reveal to E). Larger windows to 1st and 2nd floors set in floor-length recesses (former window seats since removed). 1st floor entered via mural chamber; concreted floor; recess (leading to former entrance to N range) to NW; latrine shaft to E; fireplace to S (segmental lintel rebuilt; ogee-headed cupboard recess within). 2nd floor and attic unroofed; corbels to support attic floor intact. 2nd floor entered via mural chamber (with shallow stone slop basin fitted below window); mural chamber to NW (thought to have formerly given access to parapet walk of original barmkin); small vaulted mural chamber with niche to E; fireplace to W.

N RANGE: N ELEVATION: entrance with rectangular-plan porch to left; single pitch hipped roof; shallow basket-arched opening with chamfered reveals; gun loops to returns to either side. 2 architraved panels above; upper one carved with initials 'M R' (Maria Regina), crown and date '1561' within garland; unicorn couchant below; lower panel severely weathered. Flanking gun loops to entrance; 2 to right of ground floor. Pair of intact arrowhead openings at upper level to right. Remains of 1st floor window to centre. Corbelling to outer right indicates former 2nd floor turret at angle. Tower house attached to outer left. W ELEVATION: remains of pair of 1st floor windows to end wall. Corbelling to outer left indicates former 2nd floor turret at angle. 17th century section (part of W range) adjoins to right. 2 1st floor windows remaining. INTERIOR: some remains of partition walls; line of vaulting to ground floor visible.

E, W and S RANGES: little more than foundations intact (see N range for surviving fragment of W range). Remains of former entrance to E range.

Windows missing throughout. Only main part of tower roofed (not attic).

Statement of Special Interest

A scheduled monument. A well preserved early towerhouse with ruinous remains of attached later ranges. The original structure is thought to have comprised a tower attached to a tall barmkin (the latter having been demolished when the later ranges were erected). Until the early 20th century, when the surrounding land was reclaimed during the construction of the nearby naval dockyard, the castle stood on a small island accessible only at low tide. In 1428 the barony of Rosyth was granted to Sir David Stewart, whose family built the castle some years later. Both barony and castle remained in the ownership of the Stewart family until the male line died out at the end of the 17th century, which is when the castle is thought to have fallen into disrepair. The initials M R (Maria Regina) over the N entrance refer to Mary Queen of Scots, who returned from France to govern Scotland in 1561. The initials (-I S M N) inscribed on the lower transom of the W 1st floor window of the tower are believed to refer to James Stewart of Rosyth and his wife, Margaret Napier.

References

Bibliography

David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, VOLUME I (1971 facsimilie of 1887 publication) 28995; RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTIES OF FIFE, KINROSS AND CLACKMANNAN (1933) pp155-57; Nigel Tranter, THE FORTIFIFED HOUSE IN-SCOTLAND, VOLUME 2: CENTRAL SCOTLAND (1963) pp64-65; John Gifford, FIFE, in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) pp355-56

About Listed Buildings

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Printed: 10/12/2018 22:16