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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


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  • Category: A
  • Group Category Details: A - SEE NOTES
  • Date Added: 02/05/1973
  • Supplementary Information Updated: 24/03/2004


  • Local Authority: Fife
  • Planning Authority: Fife
  • Parish: Aberdour (Fife)

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NT 19323 85518
  • Coordinates: 319323, 685518


Dated 1632. Large square-plan walled garden to NE of Aberdour Castle. Random rubble walls with pyramidal coping, wall to NW rebuilt 1890. Doorway to outer wall at upper terrace, moulded stone doorpiece with cornice surmounted by broken ogee pediment with ball, curvy strapwork to tympanum with decorated cartouche, Douglas heart emblem to centre. Central doorway to NE at entrance to church lane; moulded stone doorpiece with heavily moulded cornice, broken pediment with finials, dated 1632 central monogram 'WAM¿ (William and Anne [Earl and Countess of] Morton) surmounted by carved coronet within pediment, carved star without. Inserted doorway of 1740 at courtyard to SW outer wall with moulded stone surround. Modern openings to SW inner wall set between terrace and courtyard doorways. Modern, rendered, flat roofed store set to angle at SW/SE walls. Blocked openings to former summerhouse set into wall at E corner.

SUNDIAL: early 17th century facet-headed sundial to centre of garden; 8 faced truncated pyramid surmounted by globe resting on late 19th century baluster. Weathered, carved detailing to each face with gnomon, repaired with render in parts.

Statement of Special Interest

SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT. A-Group with Aberdour Castle, Aberdour Castle West Gateway, Aberdour Castle Dovecot, Aberdour Castle Sundial. William Douglas became the 6th Earl of Morton in 1606 and resided at Aberdour till his death in 1648. It was during his lifetime that the castle became the principal residence of the Morton's. His forebear the 4th Earl had already made great changes to the castle with a new range and fine gardens to the S in the later 16th century. William continued this work by building a further range to the E and improving the gardens by building the walled garden, the elaborate moulded stone doorpieces highlight the considerable pride and status attached to possessing such a garden. It is most likely that it was originally laid out in a formal fashion, by 1668 it is documented that it was being used as a bowling green. The summerhouse to the S corner was built in 1675 being demolished in 1785. A wooden bridge to the SE connected the walled garden with a kitchen garden that was located to the S of Church lane. The bridge survived till the end of the 19th century, the kitchen garden is no more, being part of a private garden to a nearby house. During World War ll the garden was used as a market garden and piggery. The garden is now lawned with a path and planted borders set close to the walls and is included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. To the centre of the garden is a tall sundial which was imported in the 1970s probably from Castle Wigg, Wigtonshire (Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland). For further information see Aberdour Castle list description.



Morton Estate Map (1740) Scottish National Register of Archives. F Groome, STATISTICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1882) p23. MacGibbon and Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol ¿¿ (1887) pp468-478. T Ross, ANCIENT SUNDIALS OF SCOTLAND, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Volume 12 (1889-90). RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS OF FIFE, KINROSS AND CLACKMANNAN (1933) pp17-21. M R Apted, ABERDOUR CASTLE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND WORKS OFFICIAL GUIDEBOOK (1966). N Hynd & G Ewart, ABERDOUR CASTLE GARDENS in Garden History Vol 9-12 (1981-1984) pp93-111. A Somerville, THE ANCIENT SUNDIALS OF SCOTLAND, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Volume 117 (1987). AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND, Volume 4 (1987) pp343-346. J Gifford, THE BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND Fife (1992) pp64.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

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.

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Printed: 20/03/2018 07:35