Scheduled Monument

Milton Tower,KeithSM5533

Status: Designated


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

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
Secular: tower
Local Authority
NJ 42864 51194
342864, 851194


The monument consists of the remains of Milton Tower, the surviving part of Miltoun Keith Castle said to have been built in AD 1480 by George Ogilvie of Milton. It was repaired by Margaret Ogilvie in 1601.

Milton Tower is situated between Station Road and a light-freight railway line. The building was the home of the Ogilvie family for two hundred years. It passed through marriage to the Jacobite Oliphant family in 1707, but was neglected and fell progressively into ruin after 1715. In 1829 it was finally abandoned and used as a quarry.

Only the N portion of the castle survives; the remains of tusking stones on the exposed S face indicate that the structure extended southwards, and this extension presumably contained the great hall, only the fireplace (now with concrete lintel) and flanking aumbry of which can be seen, at first floor level. A segmental-headed opening

on the W side of the hearth has been recently blocked. An entrance to an adjoining room, a square-headed window in the second floor, and a small garret window can be seen in the S face.

The twin-gabled tower has two storeys and a garret over a vaulted ground floor. A segmental-headed entrance to the vault is in the W wall. The consolidated walls are intact to roof level and have been coped. They are constructed in rubble with tooled ashlar dressings. The tower measures 7.15m E-W by 6.4m N-S overall with walls 0.9m thick. Projecting from the tower's N wall is a fragment of walling 0.9m thick which contains a small slit window. The area to be scheduled is triangular, measuring a maximum of 25m N-S by 10m E-W, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as an example, albeit reduced and restored, of a defensive residence built in the fifteenth century. As the oldest building in Keith it is a significant feature in the changing urban landscape as well as being an important building in the history of the development of the Burgh. In addition it provides evidence, which may be retrieved by the combined processes of excavation and historical research, for domestic architecture, social organisation and material culture in Scotland during the period of its construction and occupation.



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 45 SW 4.


Groome 1885, Gazeteer of Scotland, IV, 340.

Keith official guide (post-1958) The official guide to Keith, Cheltenham,10.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/10/2021 18:40