Scheduled Monument

Glenbuchat CastleSM90151

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
30/11/1981
Last Date Amended
20/01/1999
Type
Secular: castle; garden
Local Authority
Aberdeenshire
Parish
Glenbuchat
NGR
NJ 39729 14901
Coordinates
339729, 814901

Description

The monument to be scheduled comprises the remains of Glenbuchat Castle and a surrounding area of land representing part of the policies.

The castle is a fine example of a Z-plan tower-house, with square towers, or jambs, placed at diagonally opposing corners of a central rectangular block. Its external appearance is enlivened by projecting rounded and rectangular turrets, rounded projecting stair turrets carried on squinches in the re-entrant angles, tall chimney stacks and crow-stepped gables. The doorway, in the east face of the SW jamb, is covered by a lintel bearing the inscription: IOHN . GORDON . HELEN . CARNEGIE . 1590 / NOTHING . ON . EARTH . REMAINS . BOT . FAIME. Inside the door, a spiral stair, much altered in recent times, leads up to the first floor.

As first constructed, the building had two floors and an attic storey above a vaulted basement. A first-floor hall, in the central block, rose through two floors, with a kitchen and store rooms below. The NE and SW jambs contained chambers in their upper levels, above a pantry and stair respectively.

In the early 18th century, however, the hall was subdivided to form a dining room and drawing room, and its ceiling was lowered to allow the insertion of another two chambers above it, the western one being lit by a large four-light window.

The area north of the castle is traversed from SW to E by a disused mill-lade, while low earthworks to the NE of the castle appear to indicate remains of a former garden enclosure.

The builder of the castle, John Gordon of Cairnburrow, was in possession of the estate in 1572. As the inscription indicates, he built the castle in 1590 to mark the occasion of his marriage to his second wife, Helen Carnegie, daughter of Sir Robert Carnegie of Kinnaird (Angus).

The reorganization of the interior was probably carried out shortly after 1701, when the estate was purchased by John Gordon of Knockespock for his son, also named John. John Gordon sold it in 1738 to William Duff, Lord Braco, and by the mid 19th century it had been abandoned in favour of nearby Glenbuchat House.

The monument to be scheduled includes the castle itself and an irregular area of enclosed land adjoining it on the N, NE, S and W, measuring overall some 200m E-W by 112m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The enclosed car park area NE of the castle and all boundary walls and fences surrounding the scheduled area dependent on the castle are to be excluded from the scheduling.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as representing an exceptionally fine and well-preserved example of a Z-plan castle whose date of construction and history of occupation are well documented. It contributes to an understanding of the architectural taste, material culture and social and economic history of the late 16th century to the late 18th, while the area adjoining it has the potential to add further pertinent information through archaeological excavation. The monument's importance is reflected in its status as a Property in Care of the Scottish Ministers.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 31 SE 4.

Bibliography:

Cross, M. (1994) Bibliography of Monuments in the Care of the Secretary of State for Scotland, Glasgow, 334.

Giles, J. (1936) 'Drawings of Aberdeenshire castles', ed. W. D. Simpson, Spalding Club, vol. LVIII, Aberdeen.

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, vol. 2, 242.

Simpson, W. D. (1942) 'Glenbuchat and its castle', in Simpson, W. D. The Book of Glenbuchat, Aberdeen, 1-38.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Glenbuchat Castle

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/glenbuchat-castle

Find out more

Related Designations

  1. CASTLE LODGE, WALLED GARDEN INCLUDING GATEPIERS, GATE AND ANCILLARY BUILDINGSLB9130

    Designation Type
    Listed Building (B)
    Status
    Designated

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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