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
Planning Authority
Crathie And Braemar
National Park
NO 28717 95305
328717, 795305


Circa 1550. Now unusually detailed 4-storey tower house with striking flat roofed stair tower containing later ogee roofed belfry, and with Venetian window to S and arched granite doorway to ground. Granite rubble with pink harl. Situated in secluded site, on the S bank of the River Dee. Round stair tower in SW corner, corbelled out to square cap house at top which opens out to viewing platform with iron railing. Venetian window to S façade, with gabled dormerhead breaking the eaves. Crow-stepped gables and corbelled turret to NE with candle-snuffer roof. Gun-loops to N, E and S.

Primarily timber 12-pane sash and case windows to house, small slit windows to stair tower. Grey slate. Moulded skewputts. Gable stack to E with canted coping. Tall gable stack tot W with S side abutting stair tower. Iron rainwater goods. Timber door with tirling-pin.

Cheese press with weights to garden to S.

INTERIOR: partially seen (2005). Vaulted ground floor with large fireplace (c.20 m.) and straight flue. Pit prison under stair. Great hall and further rooms above.

COTTAGES: detached row of single storey and attic cottages to W of castle. Attic storey breaking wallhead. Harled. Predominantly gabled dormers with skew putts. Mostly timber sash and case windows.

GAME LARDER: single storey square game larder with pyramidal roof and bell cast eaves. Harled granite rubble. Base course. 2-leaf timber door to E and long slit windows with mesh coverings to all sides. Grey slate. Interior believed to be intact. (owner information 2005). This may be a dairy.

BOUNDARY WALLS: granite rubble with plain coping.

Statement of Special Interest

This 16th century tower house retains many original features and is particularly distinguished by the early nineteenth century additions of the belfry and Venetian window. The castle has been in the possession of the Gordon family since 1482. It was leased to the Royal Family from 1848 - 1970 and was greatly extended by James Henderson in the nineteenth century and subsequently during the years of royal occupation. Early twentieth century photographs of the castle show a sequence of buildings to the W. All of these additions were removed in the 1969 to leave only the tower house. The cupola was added by the Gordons in the early nineteenth century, having seen examples in Italy. A local legend suggests that Katy Rankin, tried as a witch, was kept chained up here in the pit dungeon below the stairs before being hanged on the nearby hill.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1866). Groome's Gazetteer (1892), p25. MacGibbon and Ross, Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland (1887-1892), Vol III pp54-55. J Geddes, Deeside and the Mearns; An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2001), p133. D Simpson, Abergeldie Castle (undated essay). Information courtesy of the owner (2005).

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. 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.

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: 26/05/2024 22:48