Scheduled Monument

Peel Ring of Lumphanan, castle, Peel Bog of LumphananSM90238

Status: Designated


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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
Last Date Amended
Secular: castle; curling pond; hall; motte
Local Authority
NJ 57613 3699
357613, 803699


The monument comprises the site and remains of a castle and its surrounding defences. The earliest record of a castle on this site is of thirteenth-century date, but local tradition, supported by scholarly opinion, places the death of Macbeth at or near Lumphanan, and may reflect earlier use of the site.

The castle known as the Peel Bog, or Peel Ring, of Lumphanan appears to have been established in the thirteenth century by the de Lundins or Durward family, the hereditary door-wards or ushers to the king, whose chief seat lay at Coull, 9.6km to the W.

The castle was probably the scene of the submission of Sir John de Melville, of Raith in Fife, to Edward I of England in July 1296. After a period of abandonment, the castle mound was reoccupied in 1487 when Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns, Perthshire, built the residence known as Ha'ton House on it. This was in ruins by the eighteenth century.

The castle's remains consist of a large earthen mound, measuring some 46m by 37m and probably in part natural, rising about 9m above the bottom of a now mostly dry though boggy ditch or moat, some 15m wide, which surrounds it. The ditch, which was evidently originally filled with water from the Lumphanan Burn, is bounded by an earthen bank standing 3m high and measuring 2.45m across the top, with a further shallow ditch 3m wide lying beyond it.

Remains of a post-medieval curling pond, filled by a stream controlled by a sluice, lie in the south-western part of the ditch. The summit of the central mound is ringed with the lowest courses of a post-medieval stone dyke, 0.9m thick, which encloses the foundations of the fifteenth-century hall.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of the castle and its outer defences, representing an oval area defined by the modern fence line and measuring some 140m NW-SE by 165m SW-NE, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a good surviving example of an earthwork castle with water-filled outer defences. Its significance is enhanced by its recorded historical associations and by the potential of its surviving below-ground archaeological remains for shedding further light on its structural development and on the material culture of its occupants in different periods. The traditional association with Macbeth adds interest to this site.



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 50 SE 2.


Bogdan, N. and Bryce, I. B. D. (1991) 'Castle, manors and 'town houses' survey', Discovery Excav Scot, 33.

Cruden, S. (1960) 'The Scottish Castle', Edinburgh, 28-9.

Fraser, G. M. (1929) 'Lumphanan and its historical interests', The Deeside Fld, 1st, vol. 4, 11.

NSA (1845) The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, 15v, Edinburgh, Vol. 12, 1090.

Simpson, W. D. (1929) 'A compendium of the Deeside castles', The Deeside Fld, vol. 4, 24 plan (1).

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Peel Ring of Lumphanan

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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.

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.

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Printed: 28/07/2021 09:13