Scheduled Monument

Crichton CastleSM13585

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.

Summary

Date Added
01/01/1900
Last Date Amended
19/11/2015
Type
Secular: castle
Local Authority
Midlothian
Parish
Crichton, Crichton
NGR
NT 38033 61136
Coordinates
338033, 661136

Legal Description

The monument is a medieval courtyard castle, begun around AD 1400 and developed in phases during the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle occupies a terrace part way down a W-facing slope, overlooking the valley of a small burn that flows from S to N. It stands 175m above sea level, about 500m S of Crichton Kirk.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains of the castle and an area around it in which evidence for the castle's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On the E side, the scheduling extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. The scheduling also excludes the above-ground elements of other post-and-wire fences and gates that lie within the scheduled area. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of all modern structures, such as hand rails, barriers, window grills, signage, displays, the ticket office, cupboards and sheds, and electrical apparatus. The monument was first scheduled in 1921. The present amendment provides scheduling documents to modern standards.

Description

The monument is a medieval courtyard castle, begun around AD 1400 and developed in phases during the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle occupies a terrace part way down a W-facing slope, overlooking the valley of a small burn that flows from S to N. It stands 175m above sea level, about 500m S of Crichton Kirk.

The earliest part is a tower at the centre of the E Range, which was originally a tower-house built around AD 1400. A 15th-century hall in the S range was built by William Crichton, Chancellor of Scotland under James II. The W range incorporates kitchens and chambers of the 15th and 16th centuries, while the N range is notable for a remarkable lodging built in the 1580s by the 5th Earl of Bothwell, who transformed the castle into a Renaissance palace. A two-storey building interpreted as a stable block lies to the S of the castle, where other low building remains are visible. A rampart lies downslope to the W of the castle and a variety of earthworks are visible on the rising ground to the E. The stone for the castle was won from quarries sited to the ESE and SSE of the main building.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains of the castle and an area around it in which evidence for the castle's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On the E side, the scheduling extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. The scheduling also excludes the above-ground elements of other post-and-wire fences and gates that lie within the scheduled area. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of all modern structures, such as hand rails, barriers, window grills, signage, displays, the ticket office, cupboards and sheds, and electrical apparatus. The monument was first scheduled in 1921. The present amendment provides scheduling documents to modern standards.

 

Statement of National Importance

The monument has considerable potential to add significantly to understanding of late medieval and post-medieval domestic fortified dwellings, their architecture, construction, maintenance, development and abandonment. The upstanding buildings retain their structural and decorative characteristics to a marked degree, incorporating many fine and significant architectural features. There is also very high potential for the survival of important buried archaeological remains, including structures within and around the castle and artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence that can enhance our understanding of how such buildings functioned, as well as adding to knowledge of the daily domestic life of the inhabitants and their society and economy. The monument would have been a highly prominent part of the contemporary landscape during its occupation and remains a significant feature of the modern landscape. Because of the prominence of its owners, there is rich potential for documentary records to add to understanding of the castle and its functions. Our understanding of the form, function and character of castles in E Scotland would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged. Ruined castles have a significant place in the national consciousness and, as a property in the care of Scottish Ministers, Crichton is visited and valued by large numbers of people.

 

References

Bibliography

Further Information

RCAHMS records the monument as NT36SE 7. The Midlothian Historic Environment Record reference is MEL8502.

References

Lewis, J, 1997 'Excavations at Crichton Castle, Midlothian', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 127, 697-705.

MacGibbon, D and Ross, T 1887-92 The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, vol 1, 208-221.

RCAHMS, 1929, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Tenth Report with Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. Edinburgh. 47-51, no 56.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Crichton Castle

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/crichton-castle

Find out more

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Crichton Castle

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 18/10/2021 18:06