Scheduled Monument

Gight CastleSM2508

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
13/05/1965
Last Date Amended
03/03/1999
Supplementary Information Updated
18/07/2018
Type
Industrial: milestone, guide plate, direction post, Secular: castle; garden
Local Authority
Aberdeenshire
Parish
Fyvie
NGR
NJ 82708 39170
Coordinates
382708, 839170

Description

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.

References

Bibliography

No Bibliography entries for this designation

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 12/12/2018 20:47