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


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Aberdour (Fife)
NT 16829 85086
316829, 685086


17th century tower house remains incorporated into 1980s reconstruction, Ian Begg. 3-storey with attic L-plan tower house. 2-storey wing to N, adjoined walled garden with 2-storey garage to S. Harled with some dressed and moulded stone openings.

E ELEVATION: advanced gable to left: ground floor window to left, large 1st floor window to right with narrow small window to left. Window to 2nd floor set above ground floor window, 2 evenly spaced attic windows. Wing setback to right; moulded ground floor door surround with small window to left, moulded blank panel above door with small window to left, 2nd floor window set above panel, breaking eaves attic window. Curved projecting stair tower at re-entrant angle. 2-storey outshot adjoined to right; centred ground floor window with breaking eaves window above.

N ELEVATION: stairtower; profile of stairs at ground, moulded stone gun-loop to right, various windows set between floors. Small square window to each floor to left of stair tower. Advanced N elevation to right; attic window to left. Advanced 2-storey wing adjoins N elevations; ground and 1st floor window to right, raggles.

W ELEVATION: irregular fenestration; some ashlar window surrounds and some small casement windows. 2-storey wing to left; 2 stone openings 'in and out drainage channels? (glazed, 2002) window to left, raggles to far left. Breaking eaves window to centre-left.

S ELEVATION: 3 ground floor windows, moulded lugged doorpiece to far right. 2 large rectangular windows to 1st floor, small window to far left. 3 2nd floor windows to 2nd floor with 2 narrow, horizontal slit windows beneath eaves.

Timber boarded doors with staggered nails. Various multi-paned casement and sash and case windows. Catslide roof to breaking eaves windows. Pitched grey slate roof. Crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts. Coped, rendered gable apex stacks, (no cans).

INTERIOR: mostly modern including concrete newel stair and vaulted storage room. Some salvaged moulded stone to doorpieces, original drainage channels to W wall of kitchen at N outshot.

WALLED GARDEN INCLUDING GARAGE: rectangular-shaped area to S of house enclosed by high rendered walls to W, E and S. Garage at SE corner; 2-storey, rectangular-plan; large segmental arch to ground with small offset window above to E. Crowstepped gabled breaking eaves window at 1st floor to S. Pitched grey slate roof, crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts. Rendered coped gable apex stack to E.

Statement of Special Interest

NOTES: In the late 12th century Robert de London (an illegitimate son of King William the lion) granted Couston and other lands in Fife to Roger Frebern. By the 16th century Couston is documented as being a fortified castle well protected by artillery (E Simpson). In the 17th century the castle was the home of the Logan family, James ?V confirming a charter to James Logan of Couston, it was also at this time that the castle was remodelled in a comparable fashion to its modern form and plan (2002). In the 1660s Rev Robert Blair, a friend of the Logan?s came to reside at the castle, Blair had been chaplain to Charles and was Regent and Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University. However, when he took up his role of minister at St Andrews in 1661 he was banished by Archbishop Sharp due to his covenanting sympathies. He sought refuge at Couston Castle where he died in 1666, an epitaph was erected to him by his sons in 1672 at St Filan?s, Aberdour (see separate listing). The castle fell into disrepair during the early 19th century. During the latter half of the 1840s the castle was partially dismantled to provide stone for the erection of a farm steading to the E, the steading was subsequently demolished in the next decade. For over a century the castle remained a ruin with only fragmentary remnants remaining which included a 17th century doorpiece opening onto the foot of a scale-and-platt stair rising to 1st floor height. In the 1980s Couston Castle was purchased by Alastair Harper, a Dunfermline businessman who set about re-building the castle. Harper employed the architect Ian Begg to reconstruct the castle using as much of the surviving masonry as was possible, original stone was recovered from the adjacent Otterson Loch and from rubble left over from the demolished nearby steading. Although the majority of the Castle is modern (only one single gable remained intact after the 1850s, this possibly was that of the N outshot) original stone and the original plan has been used successfully in the castle?s recreation. In 1988 Mr Harper and Ian Begg were given a Saltire Society Award for their contribution to ?the enhancement of Scotland architectural heritage.?



REFERENCES: 1st edition (Fife) Ordnance Survey map (1856). RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS OF FIFE, KINROSS AND CLACKMANNAN (1933) p99. D Rutherford, St. Fillan?s Church Aberdour (1997) pp14-15. E Simpson, DALGETY BAY HERITAGE AND HIDDEN HISTORY (1999) pp 80-81.

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.

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Printed: 19/08/2019 19:05