Scheduled Monument

Pittulie CastleSM5578

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
11/02/1993
Supplementary Information Updated
27/06/2018
Type
Secular: castle; manor house
Local Authority
Aberdeenshire
Parish
Pitsligo
NGR
NJ 94519 67025
Coordinates
394519, 867025

Description

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.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ96NW 6.

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: 19/11/2018 15:40