Scheduled Monument

Blervie CastleSM5625

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

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.

Summary

Date Added
03/03/1993
Last Date Amended
23/02/1998
Type
Secular: castle; hall; tower
Local Authority
Moray
Parish
Rafford
NGR
NJ 07081 57185
Coordinates
307081, 857185

Description

The monument consists of the remains of Blervie Castle, a defensive towerhouse constructed on the Z-plan by the Dunbars about 1600. The monument was scheduled in 1993, but the original scheduling omitted a significant area of the remains, hence this rescheduling.

According to the Exchequer Rolls, the royal castle of Blervie, or Ulerin, was repaired in anticipation of Haakon's invasion in 1263. It was held on behalf of the king by Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan.

The present tower is of later date and is situated amidst the buildings of Blervie Castle Farm. The surviving elements consist of the W corner-turret and fragmentary portions of the adjoining main block, which contained the hall. The latter was some 9m wide externally and survives to a maximum of some 8.4m in length; but nothing now remains of the north-eastern part of it, nor of the E corner-turret. The hall fireplace survives in the SE wall on the first floor; it has moulded jambs and a joggled flat-arched mantle decorated with a central carved crest. To the left is a window and to the right two doors, one leading into the corner-turret and the other to the stair to the upper floors.

The W turret is five storeys high, each level comprising a single chamber, and measures 6.5m square over walls about 1m thick. It has a flat roof, angle-rounds and a corbel table which formerly carried the battlements. The walls are rubble built with ashlar dressings. The basement level is vaulted and provided with gun-loops; the upper floors are vaulted, apart from the second, which was of timber (with original joists surviving). The rooms are accessed by a turnpike stair, entered from the W corner of the hall and built within the junction of the hall block and the turret; above the level of the hall block's roof, this continues as a projecting rounded stair-turret. Formerly it had a caphouse, but now it is open at the top. One of the winders is decorated with a dog-tooth pattern.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, extending 3m from the exterior walls of the castle, to include the square corner-turret and the remains of the hall block but excluding modern buildings encroaching on them and the modern water-tank and associated pipework inserted into the turret. The area measures overall 17.7m NW-SE by 19.7m SW-NE, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a well preserved example, albeit incomplete, of a late Medieval towerhouse. It is contemporary with and closely related in style to the tower of Burgie. The upstanding remains are thought to overlie an earlier fortified site and this offers the possibility, through a combination of historical research and archaeological excavation, to establish information relating to the development of defensive architecture, social organisation and material culture in Scotland during the later Middle Ages.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ05NE 3.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 25/07/2024 10:20