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
New Deer
NJ 91092 50151
391092, 850151


Ruinous. Thomas Mackenzie, 1849 and Mackenzie and Matthews (probably James Matthews), 1881, 1888 and 1894 Scots baronial house. Reconstruction of 17th century tower house, itself probably incorporating 16th century fabric, altered 1765 (including W front) and 1815. 3- and 4-storey house with tall centre tower and caphouse added to SW of earlier structure. Partial demolition 1953, but some E (entrance), N and W elevational detail and some interior walls remain. Harl, squared granite and coursed rubble. Some ashlar margins and architraves. Elaborate corbels, roll and ropework mouldings, and band courses. Chamfered arrises. Elevational details described complete to wallhead (2004).

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: turreted and heavily corbelled porte cochere projecting at centre from 4-storey crowstepped bay with rounded angle to left corbelled to square and again round at attic bartizan, and square-headed windows, that to gablehead corbelled and canopied. Regularly-fenestrated 2-storey and attic, 2-bay block to right with bartizan to outer angle and single storey, bartizaned bay beyond. 2 bays to left of centre (formerly mirroring the above) with some evidence of openings.

N ELEVATION: 3-storey, 2-bay crowstepped gable to centre with 2 bays to right and further crowstepped bay angled to left (this covered with vegetation), further 2-bay crowstepped gable to outer left with single storey bay projecting at ground.

W ELEVATION: 4-storey, 3-bay elevation of 1765, with 1849 stair tower. Coursed squared granite. Evidence of single storey service courtyard projecting at ground, architraved 1st floor door to centre with semicircular pediment monogrammed with initials 'ADF', and regular fenestration. Corbelled round tower (1849) to left and angle turret to right. Apparently isolated outer right angled bay with corbelled and pedimented oriel window at apex (remains of 19th century S elevation).

INTERIOR: ground largely filled with debris overlaying vaults broken through in places.

Statement of Special Interest

The important early tower (possibly round) house was probably erected by James, 1st laird of Brucklay, circa 1600-25, although it has been suggested that this building incorporated an earlier 16th century structure based on evidence of the remains of a roll-moulded semicircular arch on a first floor internal wall. The 1600 date is based on visible evidence of windows, fireplaces and close garderobes and coincides with James Brucklay's accession of 1598. Any earlier structure would have been attached to the estate of Fedderate whose laird granted Brucklay to his eldest son in 1490. The early core (situated at the SW corner) would probably have been an L-plan aligned E-W with projecting SE wing with stair, and vaulted cellars. The sympathetic 1765 and 1815 alterations were followed by Thomas Mackenzie's (Scotsman says John Matthews) 1849 reconstruction for Capt Alexander Dingwall-Fordyce. The completely altered character included raising the height of two rooms added in 1814 to three storeys, with 'the front broken by extending the entrance hall and projecting a porte-cochere. The old circular staircase was removed and a new one erected in a square tower carried up to a height of 75 feet and terminated by a sort of keep on the top' (The Scotsman). Further alterations, probably by James Matthews, were made in 1881 including the addition of harl which conceals much evidence of progressive builds. Matthews was apprenticed to Archibald Simpson (1790-1847) and was subsequently in partnership with Dr Marshall Mackenzie (1848-1933). The 19th century Brucklay, reportedly a '100-roomed mansion', exhibits significant stylistic similarities with Dr Mackenzie's work on Ballindalloch Castle, Aberlour, Banffshire. An undated drawing at Aberdeen Art Gallery, signed by J Smith, shows a coffered dome with lantern over the entrance hall. John Smith designed the stable block in 1820 and bridge in 1830, prior to the extensive Mackenzie alterations. Brucklay Castle was requisitioned by the government for war and post war purposes. In 1953, The Scotsman reported that 'The roof of the castellated building is to be removed and the interior gutted to save taxes'. Brucklay at its height boasted some five acres of garden with ornamental lake and formal terraced gardens to the south side of the house. A granite obelisk in the grounds commemorates William Dingwall-Fordyce MP 1836-1875.



APSD Contract Books A Marshall Mackenzie and Marr per John Marr Esq FRIBA. Ian Bryce ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY REPORTS 1986 and 1992. THE SCOTSMAN 9th February 1953. Rev J Pratt BUCHAN 1870. Groome GAZETTEER, p196. McKean RIAS GUIDE BANFF & BUCHAN (1990), p80. THIRD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF THE COUNTY OF ABERDEEN (1960), p367. G Stell REPORT (1993).

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: 19/09/2019 21:55