Scheduled Monument

Auchindoun Castle,castle and fortSM90024

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort), Secular: castle; kiln; tower
Local Authority
NJ 34886 37467
334886, 837467


The monument consists of a 15th-century L-plan towerhouse, with an underlying prehistoric fort.

Auchindoun is attributed to James Cochrane, Earl of Mar, or Thomas Cochran, favourite of James III. By the 16th century it belonged to

the Ogilvies, who sold it to the Gordons in 1535. By 1725 it was derelict, and William Duff of Braco was granted permission to remove stones from it for his new house at Balvenie.

Built on the L plan, it is unusual in having the entrance not in the re-entrant angle but towards the W end of the S wall. It leads into a barrel-vaulted basement, with a drain in the W wall and a small barrel-vaulted chamber (2 x 1.7m, and 1.7m deep) below the floor.

This chamber was accessible from the first floor by a stair in the NW corner, but there was no direct means of communication between it and the cellar beneath the jamb, which would only have been accessible

from above, possibly through a trap door; it may have been a prison.

On the first floor was the hall, 9.3m long by 5.8m wide. The stair emerges at the SW corner of the screens end. In the adjacent W wall

is a wall closet. At the E end of the screens passage another door

leads into a jamb-chamber, with garderobe and window seats. This may have been the steward's quarters, supporting the idea of the chamber below having been a prison. The hall was rib-vaulted in two bays, the vaulting springing from corbels; at the N end the angle-groins were incorrectly set out, so that an intermediate capital had to be

inserted to enable a fresh start to be made at a higher level. At the

N, upper, end of the hall is a large fireplace, flanked by windows

with stone seats in the E and W side walls.

The floor above may have been an upper hall, with large windows. In

the jamb there were two storeys in the height of the hall, and other rooms above. It is not clear how they were accessible.

The tower was surrounded by a high wall measuring some 22.4m E-W by

32 m N-S. On the south this contained the gatehouse range. On the E

the wall was later pushed out some 6.5m to accommodate another range containing kitchen, bakery and other offices. A rounded tower with gun-loops was also added to the NW corner.

The castle stands inside a bivallate hillfort, assumed to be of Iron

Age date. The inner rampart of the fort, formed by a ditch and outer bank, is mutilated by approach ramps to the castle on the W side and

by quarrying on the S. The outer defences are formed by natural rocky slopes on the E and by a ditch and outer bank on the N and S; on the

W the rampart has been destroyed by cultivation. On the E side are remains of a lime kiln of more recent date.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of the castle, fort and lime kiln, representing an irregular area some 200m E-W by 230m N-S,

as shown in red on the accompanying map.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Auchindoun Castle

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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.

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Printed: 25/05/2019 22:06