Scheduled Monument

Inverallochy CastleSM97

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Secular: castle
Local Authority
NK 4088 62956
404088, 862956


The monument comprises the remains of Inverallochy Castle, a massive but ruinous castle situated on an area of flat coastal plain, which in the past must have been quite marshy. The monument was first scheduled in 1960. The monument is being rescheduled in order to define more clearly the extent of the scheduled area and to include areas where remains may survive but which were not include in the original scheduling.

The castle appears to be of a single phase and was constructed in courtyard form. The main buildings are arranged around three sides of an irregular quadrangular courtyard, with a substantial and high enclosing wall closing off the fourth or S side. The castle was accessed via a pend through the N wall leading to the courtyard. The principal accommodation was a towerhouse-like structure in the NE corner with a kitchen within a vaulted basement and a hall above. The tower was linked to integral ranges along the N and W walls; the W range may have provided a suite of accommodation in conjunction with the hall in the tower. The E range appears to have been independent from the other ranges and may have provided subsidiary accommodation. The interior buildings are all now very ruinous, with most of the interior filled with tumbled rubble. The enclosing courtyard wall stands between 7-10m high apart from at the NE corner where the remnants of the tower stand to wall-head height.

The architecture of the castle is suggestive of 16th-century date for its construction. Sir William Comyn of Inverallochy, who was made Lord Lyon during the minority of James V, may have been responsible for its construction. However, the architectural details do suggest a construction date in the second half of the 16th century.

The area to be scheduled includes the courtyard and area surrounding the castle where associated archaeology could be expected to survive. This includes an area of land to the N and W which appears to represent an outer courtyard. The area is irregular in shape and has maximum dimensions of 60m NNE-SSW by 55m WNW-ESE, as marked in red on the attached map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is nationally important as the remains of a 16th century courtyard castle. It is relatively unusual for a courtyard castle in apparently being planned and executed in a single phase rather than the more usual pattern of piecemeal development around the core of a towerhouse. Although extensively ruined, the castle remains a notable landmark with the courtyard wall surviving to a considerable extent. A considerable amount of architectural information will be hidden by and amongst the tumble. Its greatest potential however, lies in the archaeology that will survive both inside the buildings, the courtyard and in the immediately surrounding area.



The monument is recorded in the NMRS as NJ86SE 17


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, 331-3, 5v.

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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. 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: 28/01/2020 03:17