Skip to content
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: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.



  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 24/11/1972


  • Local Authority: Aberdeenshire
  • Planning Authority: Aberdeenshire
  • Parish: Crathie And Braemar
  • National Park: Cairngorms

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NO 28709 95281
  • Coordinates: 328709, 795281


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 Designations

Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


There are no images available for this record.

Printed: 26/10/2016 20:09