Scheduled Monument

Duchal CastleSM5522

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Secular: castle
Local Authority
NS 33460 68518
233460, 668518


The monument consists of the remains of Duchal Castle, an extensive 13th century fortified site. The castle is naturally well defended on a piece of ground cut off steeply on the N and S by the confluence of the Green Water and the Blackwater burn. The site was originally surrounded by a massive enceinte wall, several portions of which survive on the N and E.

It is made of random rubble and is approximately 5m high on the E. The wall varies in thickness from 1.5 to 2.5m. In the NE section of wall there is a deep chute dropping to the river which may have been a well or garderobe. In the SE portion on a rock outcrop 5-6m high are the footings of a Keep, 9m square over walls 1-1.5m thick. In the W portion there was a substantial ditch which meant that the site was almost detached from the surrounding land mass.

Much of this ditch has been filled in to accommodate the road and a passing place. The area to be scheduled is irregular and measures a maximum of 90m NW-SE by 40m NE-SW, to include the castle, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it was a 13th-century fortress of substantial proportions. Although the remains are somewhat diminished in strength, the site preserves evidence for defensive architecture and domestic occupation. Its importance is further enhanced by the historic evidence for its siege by James IV in 1489 when it was held by the Earl of Lennox.



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NS 36 NW 8.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 19/04/2019 13:47