Scheduled Monument

Kindrochit CastleSM2583

Status: Designated


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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.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: castle
Local Authority
Crathie And Braemar
NO 15120 91318
315120, 791318


The monument comprises the fragmentary remains of Kindochrit Castle, a late 14th century tower house incorporating earlier work. The monument was first scheduled in 1967, but an inadequate area was scheduled to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The monument lies within the town of Braemar. The castle occupies a strong defensive location and is protected by the Water of Clunie to the W and by an ancient mill lade to the E. Its location had considerable strategic value, overlooking a major crossing of the Clunie.

The site was used as a palace, or hunting seat, by King Robert II in the later 14th century. Charters and the Exchequer Rolls indicate that he visited Kindrochit almost every year, from 1371 to 1388. The remains of this castle, which were excavated by Douglas Simpson in the 1920s, are thought to have consisted of the structure to the N and E of the tower house, which was later imposed on the building on a slightly different alignment. The remains of the earlier structure stand to a maximum height of 3m and are believed to be a fragment of an oblong hall, around 30m long by about 9m wide, with unvaulted cellars below and quadrangular towers at the corners.

The tower house, of which only the ground floor survives, was probably built around 1390, when Robert II granted a licence to Malcolm Drummond to build a new tower at Kindrochit. The tower house is around 19.5m by 13m in size, with walls 3m thick. The ground floor was divided into three chambers consisting of a prison, which communicated with the floor above via a hatch, and two storage cellars. The storage cellars were accessed from the courtyard through a doorway in the W wall, and from the floor above via a small service stair.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 78.5m N-S by 45m transversely. The area includes the remains of the earlier hall, the superimposed tower house and an area to the south where foundations indicate the presence of other associated structures. The scheduled area is bounded to the W by the Water of Clunie, to the E by the public foot path and the small cafe with its car park, and to the S by a fence line.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a 14th century castle of several phases. This monument contributes to our understanding of the development of medieval defensive and domestic structures, their social history and material culture. Its importance is enhanced by its association with King Robert II and by the numerous documentary references to the castle, including a licence to crenellate.



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NO 19 SE 1.


Simpson W D 1923, 'The Royal Castle of Kindrochit in Mar', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 57, 1922-3, 75-97.

Simpson W D 1928, 'The excavation of Kindrochit Castle, Aberdeenshire' Antiq J, 8, 1, Jan 1928, 69-75.

Simpson W D 1949, 'The earldom of Mar: being a sequel to 'The Province of Mar', 1943, Aberdeen, 42-6.

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

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Printed: 02/12/2022 09:34