Scheduled Monument

Pittulie CastleSM5578

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Secular: castle; manor house
Local Authority
NJ 94519 67025
394519, 867025


The monument consists of the remains of Pittulie Castle, a defensive residence which is of 16th to 17th century date.

The lands of Pittulie were held by the Frasers from the 14th century. It is thought that the house was built after the marriage between Alexander Fraser and Margaret Abernethy of Saltoun in 1595-6. The L- shaped mansion lies in a cultivated field overlooking the sea. The earliest surviving part of the building is a three-storey, square tower which adjoins a lower block, lying E-W, and dating from about 1700. A circular stair-turret is corbelled out from the first floor level in the re-entrant angle.

The main block has had a shallow basement, one storey and a garret. Large fireplaces dominated each gable in this block. A projecting circular stair-case towards the E end of the S block gave access to the upper level from the first floor. The walls of Pittulie stand to roof height and are of random rubble construction. The house measures 22.8m E-W by 12.4m overall, with the tower projecting 5.4m from the N wall. The walls are about 0.8m thick.

The S elevation of the main block has an elegant seven bay front with central entrance and symmetrical fenestration, the openings are all square-headed. On the SE and SW angles are the remains of corbelled turrets. A particularly unusual feature of the square tower are the pair of rectangular oriel windows set across the NW and NE angles at second floor height. These light the apartment formerly known as the Laird's room.

The main entrance, with cable moulding, is in the N wall of the tower, another doorway with sandstone dressings cuts through the E wall. On the N face are two square blank panels surmounted by a triangular pediment with faint traces of carving. At wall head level is a lozenge shaped panel. Adjoining the NW tower are a cluster of later domestic buildings including a kitchen with large chimney stack, now ruinous. The remains of a barmkin wall and dovecot survive in the cultivated field around the castle.

The area to be scheduled is square, aligned NNW-SSE, with sides measuring a maximum of 35m, to include the castle and an area which is likely to contain related buried features, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as it is a fine example of a fortified house, the design of which displays innovation and personal interpretation of contemporary design and local styles through its layout and treatment of architectural details. As a rare type and as part of a large group of late Medieval defensive buildings it provides significant evidence of the past, retrievable through the processes of research and excavation, which may increase our understanding of architectural construction and technology, society and material culture during the period of its occupation.



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ96NW 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 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: 25/08/2019 12:32