Scheduled Monument

Gight CastleSM2508

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Industrial: milestone, guide plate, direction post, Secular: castle; garden
Local Authority
NJ 82708 39170
382708, 839170


The monument to be scheduled comprises the remains of Gight (or Formantine) Castle and associated features. An earlier scheduling included no more than the remains of the castle itself. The present scheduling extends the area to be scheduled to include the remains of an associated designed landscape and other structures.

Gight is one of a group of four contemporary Aberdeenshire castles, the others being Craig, Delgaty and Towie Barclay, that were almost certainly built by the same master mason sometime in the 16th century. Although there is no documentary evidence for its date it is said to have been erected by George Gordon, the second laird, who succeeded his father in 1513 and died after 1570. It is mentioned as a 'tower and fortalice' in 1577. Latterly it belonged to Catherine Gordon Byron, the mother of Lord Byron, who alludes to it in 'Childe Harold'. In 1787, she sold it to the 3rd earl of Aberdeen to pay off her debts, and it became the residence of Lord Haddo, the earl's eldest son, until his death in 1791. Since then it has remained uninhabited.

The castle is built to an L-plan and measures 20.74 by 16.16m overall. The door is a little removed from the re-entrant angle and is set in the principal range, rather than in the jamb. It gives access to a rib-vaulted vestibule, with shields bearing armorial achievements at the springing and intersection of the ribs. That on the central boss displays the Arma Christi, the symbols of the Passion. From the entrance vestibule a passage runs the length of the building, communicating with the basement rooms and leading to a newel stair set between the principal range and the jamb. The basement comprises a kitchen occupying the jamb, and two barrel-vaulted cellars and a bakehouse occupying the main range. On the first floor, the principal range is occupied by the hall and the jamb by a private room, with a small vaulted bed closet set in the space between them. The upper parts of the castle are heavily ruined. In a later period another range was added to the NE side of the original tower-house.

Some 18m E of the castle stands a milestone recording 'H[addo] H[ouse] 5 M[iles]'. A stone built platform exists on the SW side of the castle, on the edge of the gorge. To the SE there extends a series of artificial terraces, on the last of which lie the foundations of a row of stone buildings.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains described above and represents an irregular area, extending to a maximum of 170m NNW-SSE by 115m ENE-WSW, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

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 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).

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

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Printed: 06/06/2020 08:38