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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: B
  • Date Added: 16/04/1971


  • Local Authority: Aberdeenshire
  • Planning Authority: Aberdeenshire
  • Parish: Glenmuick, Tullich And Glengairn
  • National Park: Cairngorms

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NO 35226 95157
  • Coordinates: 335226, 795157


Circa 1600. 3-storey and attic, rectangular-plan roofless towerhouse, complete to wallhead, sited on rocky hill. Rubble granite, squared for dressings, giant boulders anchoring corner foundations. Approximately 27 x 22 feet, walls 4 feet thick. Arrowslit windows at intervals to each floor and elevation.

Door at ground to right of S elevation, formerly accessing newel stair to right; remaining elevations blank at ground except for arrowslit windows. Window at 1st floor to left of S and W elevations and at centre to N and E, lighting hall. Double tier of windows at 2nd floor to S elevation, relieving arch above upper window. Window at centre of N and E elevations at 2nd floor and to left of W. Corbelled, gabled caphouse to SE corner with window in gablehead to S. Further attic window to gabled centre bay of E elevation. Corbelled, circular bartizans to NE and NW corners with small windows.

Chimneyheaded gables to E and W and to caphouse. Ashlar coped skews.

Statement of Special Interest

Property in the care of the Scottish Ministers on behalf of Her Majesty. Knock Castle is a good example of a minor laird's towerhouse, situated in a prominent position in the landscape. It would have been surrounded by ancillary buildings such as stables, a bakehouse, and a brewhouse. There would have been a hall on the first floor with a vaulted basement, which would have been used as a kitchen. The exact date of construction is uncertain, but is likely to be around the late 16th or early 17th century.

The lands of Knock were owned by a branch of the Gordon family in the 16th century. The family were embroiled in a feud throughout the century with the Forbes family. In 1592, the Clan Chattan raided the area and killed Henry Gordon of Knock. Henry's brother, Alexander, succeeded him and may have built this tower, or he may have rebuilt the upper sections of the previous castle, in order to update it. Tradition states that Alexander fell to his death down the staircase after being overcome with grief when he learnt that a party of Forbes had killed his seven sons. The lands then passed to the Gordons of Abergeldie.

MacGibbon and Ross draw a parallel between Knock Castle and Birse Castle, Aberdeenshire. They note too that the style is late for its period, similar to the keeps of the Borders.



MacGibbon & Ross Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland (1888), vol 2, pp29-30 and p49. Information from (accessed 21-07-08). Further information form information board.

Link to Our Property

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: 23/10/2016 21:18