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
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NC 85049 820
285049, 900820


Vast Baronial turretted mansion, mainly Sir Charles Barry,

1835-50, with subsequent repairs and alterations by Sir

Robert Lorimer, 1919, all encasing 14th century square

tower with abutting 17th century drum stair tower with

small pedimented windows; also further 17th century L-plan

tower house wing with angle turrets, and 1788-95 wing.

Mainly 3 storeys and attic.

Materials; 14th century tower and stair tower, rubble;

17th century range, harled to inner court, rendered to

outer faces; 18th century wing, rendered; 19th century

work, tooled ashlar with polished dressings, battered

rubble plinth, and terrace retaining walls at south.

Main entrance elevation at north dominated by square

4-stage tower with round-headed porte cochere in base

with pedimented and balconied 1st floor window above,

clasping angle turrets corbelled from 3rd floor, corbelled

castellated parapet and centre romantic corbelled square

turret with steep pyramidal roof in the manner of

Viollet-le-Duc. Tower at angle of 2 lower ranges

similarly detailed but with pedimented wallhead at right

of main north range, with ogee slated roof and ornate

clock faces above corbelled balcony with decorative

cast-iron balustrade.

Expansive south elevation set at 3 angles with tall angle

drum towers with corbelled upper stage to those clasping

taller eastern block, and attenuated conical decorative

fish-scale and ribbed leaded roofs with terminating

cast-iron finials.

Ornamental pediments to 1st floor windows of drawing

room and NE range, linked by cill bands. Cill bands also

to 2nd floor. Large oriel in SW elevation in advanced and

crowstepped gabled bay. Much ornamental detailing,

balconies, castellations, etc throughout exterior;

corniced stacks and slate roofs. Wide terracing at south

and west. Extensive service courtyard at NW.

Interior; main entrance porch leads to wide mid-19th

century staircase with ornamental Caen stone balustrade

giving onto rib vaulted landing and corridors leading to

main 1st and 2nd floor rooms.

Dining room; re-designed by Sir Robert Lorimer with

ornate coffered moulded plaster ceiling, classical

grisaille frieze of Italian origin, light wood panelled

walls and Tudor style chimneypiece; cast-iron fire back.

Billiard room; large panelled room to accommodate two

billiard tables, reconstructed by Lorimer from 1850

library; pine panelled walls, ornate pilaster ceiling;

green marble chimneypiece with swags above attributed to

Grinling Gibbons.

Breakfast room; canted ends; simple plaster walls with

panelled dado; ornate door case with oyster walnut door;

the overdoor and the incorporating swags by Grinling

Gibbons; 17th century style plaster ceiling; all

re-designed by Lorimer.

Drawingroom; re-designed by Lorimer combining 2 smaller

rooms of Barry wing; long room lit by 5 full length

windows; ornate plaster ceiling with reticulated design,

central armorial boss and decorative frieze; decorative

carved marble chimneypiece with lugged moulded surround

set with figured green and white marble; corniced

door-cases; decorative panelled doors and window shutters

with secondary glazed inner shutters (for double

glazing); ornamental radiator casings.

Library; re-designed by Lorimer from former principal

bedroom and dressing rooms, panelled throughout and

shelved with sycamore wood; figured marbled fireplaces at

each end.

Duke's study; Lorimer panelling in larch; moulded and

lugged wood chimney-piece with figure marble surround;

small wrought iron balcony to window.

Green and gold bedroom; French style, 1921 (for Duchess

Eileen); stippled green panelled walls with gilt garlanded

and mirrored panels; white marble chimneypieces; painted

swag motif decorates ceiling.

Statement of Special Interest

Seat of Sutherland family. Hugh, Lord of Duffus (Moray)

and grandson of Freskin de Moravia, acquired lands in

Sutherland before 1211.

Hugh's son William became 1st Earl of Sutherland circa

1235. Freskin line ended in 1514, title inherited by

Elizabeth Gordon, sister 5th Earl (d.1514), wife Hon.

Adam Gordon, younger son of 2nd Earl of Huntly. 1766

inherited by later Elizabeth Gordon (only daughter 18th

Earl) who married George Granville Leveson-Gore, later

2nd Marquis of Stafford, who inherited enormous

industrial wealth in West Midlands of England, and was

subsequently created 1st Duke of Sutherland (d.1834).

2nd Duke initiated Sir Charles Barry additions.

Dukedom passed elsewhere in 1963, but Dunrobin Castle and

Sutherland estates inherited by Elizabeth, present

Countess of Sutherland in her own right.

Stone for 1835-50 from Brora and Braambury quarries,

Sutherland. Staircase and entrance hall lined with Caen stone.

Much of the interior destroyed by fire in 1915, when the

castle was used as a naval hospital. It was this damage

that initiated the re-designing of the interior by Sir

Robert Lorimer in 1919.






(1980) pp 120, 129-31, 176. DUNROBIN CASTLE (guide) 1980).

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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