Scheduled Monument

Invermark Castle and township 220m SW of House of MarkSM2462

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Secular: barn; castle; enclosure; kiln; settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
NO 44212 80447
344212, 780447


The monument is the remains of Invermark Castle and its associated township. The castle survives as a rectangular tower house, which stands four storeys high with a garret. To the N are the turf-covered remains of an associated township comprising at least seven buildings, with fragments of as many as six others, spread over an area of around 2ha. The castle stands on the N side of the Water of Lee near its confluence with the Water of Mark at the head of Glen Esk at around 260m above sea level. The monument was last scheduled in 1964, but the documentation did not meet modern standards; the present amendment rectifies this. At least two distinct phases of construction are evident in the tower: the lower half relates to an earlier keep probably of the early to mid-16th century, while the upper floors and the large window on the SE elevation are probably later additions associated with a remodelling in the late 16th or early 17th century. The tower measures approximately 11.5m WSW-ENE by 8.3m transversely. The gables survive to their full height, as does the two-storey projecting round turret on the E corner. The tower was entered on the first floor, the door being accessed by an external stair that is no longer present. The structural remains indicate partitioned apartments on the first and third floors, originally with timber floors. To the SE and E of the tower are the remains of a S range and the foundations of outbuildings. Invermark Castle is associated with the Edzell Lindsays; David Lindsay, 9th Earl of Crawford, died here in 1558. An earlier castle is believed to have occupied the site in the 14th century. The buildings in the associated township vary in character and spatial distribution, suggesting that they served different functions. The focus of the township lies on higher ground to the W where there are three large buildings, two around 15.8m long by 3.5m wide, one with an attached enclosure. To the NE is a substantial kiln-barn, measuring 8.6m by 5.7m internally, with the kiln bowl at the WNW end: this may be the malt-kiln mentioned in the Register of the Great Seal in 1588. The remains of another possible kiln-barn lie immediately to its S. To the E of this group are the remains of two building platforms, the best preserved measuring some 16m by 4m, which may represent an earlier phase of the township. At the E edge of the township are two parallel ranges, only 2.5m wide, with two or three other fragmentary buildings in their vicinity. A single building, possibly a threshing barn, stands on a knoll at the N edge of the township, some 75m away from the nearest building. Other features include rig and furrow, banks, tracks, quarries, drains and the fugitive traces of other structures. The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of all modern boundary walls, fences and signage, and the top 300mm of all modern roads to allow for their maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of a 16th- and early 17th-century tower with an associated township. The tower is largely complete, retaining its structural characteristics to a marked degree, and important archaeological remains also survive around the tower, including the foundations of a S range and outbuildings. The castle has high potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of late medieval and post-medieval domestic fortified dwellings, their architecture, construction, maintenance, development and abandonment. The site is particularly notable for the rare survival of an extensive and well-preserved associated township. This contains a variety of buildings probably serving different functions, including a kiln-barn that may be attested in the Great Seal in 1588. The building foundations and associated archaeological evidence can significantly enhance our understanding of how the castle and township functioned and was organised, the daily life of the inhabitants, their society, economy, agriculture and industry, and their trading and other contacts. The castle is an attractive ruin occupying a prominent position within the local landscape. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to understand the form, function and character of later medieval and post-medieval fortified houses and associated settlements in NE Scotland and further afield.



Further Information

RCAHMS records the monument as NO48SW 6, 20. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference is NO48SW0006.


MacGibbon, D and Ross, T 1887-92 The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 3, 456-62.

Simpson, W D 1934, 'Invermark Castle', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 68, 41-50.

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.

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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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

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Printed: 25/05/2019 05:54