Scheduled Monument

Old Woodhouselee CastleSM5607

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: castle; house
Local Authority
NT 25726 61574
325726, 661574


The monument consists of the remains of Old Woodhouselee Castle, a 16th-century defensive residence.

The castle occupies a precipitous position above the N bank of the River North Esk. The building has been L-shape on plan. Most of the structure has been reduced to ground level. The main limb lying ENE-WSW has consisted of a vaulted basement although most of the vaulting has fallen. This masonry supports a section of walling at the SW end.

The ground on the N is level with the head of the vaults. On this side at the E end are the footings of a projecting wing. Two small square windows are positioned low in the vaulting on the S wall. In 1966 Watson's College Archaeological Society excavated a small room, presumably a kitchen, within the main block, revealing two ovens.

The area to be scheduled is the elevated land defined by the river North Esk to the SW, the S edge of the aqueduct to the N, and the curve of the footpath on the SE, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as an example, albeit much reduced, of a 16th century domestic residence thought to have been the property of the wife of James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. Her eviction from the estate is thought to have precipitated Hamilton's murder of the Regent Moray in 1570. Occupation deposits survive around the house and below its walls containing evidence, retrievable through excavation, which may increase our understanding of defensive architecture, construction history, material culture, domestic economy and landuse during the period of its habitation.



RCAHMS records the monument as NT26SE 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: 23/04/2024 15:17