Castle Leod

Tower House

Site Name Castle Leod

Classification Tower House

Canmore ID 12469

Site Number NH45NE 9

NGR NH 48603 59325

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Fodderty
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH45NE 9.00 48603 59325

(NH 4860 5933) Castle Leod (NR)

OS 6"map, (1971)

NH45NE 9.01 NH 48855 58774 Lodge

NH45NE 9.02 Centred NH 4865 5900 Golf Course (possible)

An early 17th century tower-house impressively situated on a green mound and built to a modified L-plan whose re-entrant angle has been infilled by a slightly later addition, which contains a secondary doorway, defended by shot-holes and surmounted by a heraldic panel bearing the MacKenzie arms.

The original building had an open parapet at the wall-head with bartizans at the angles. The addition however covers up this parapet on the original front wall and is carried a storey higher being finished with ornamental dormers and pyramidal-roofed turrets. Some of the other angle-turrets and dormers were probably added at the same time. One dormer, on the north, bears the date 1616, but whether this is the date of the original (MacGibbon and Ross 1889) or the modification (Tranter 1970) is not clear.

Tranter says the orignal was built in 1600 by the Tutor of Kintail, Sir Roderick MacKenzie and is still the seat of his descendant, the Earl of Cromartie.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; N Tranter 1962-70.

Castle Leod (Information from notice board). This castle is still occupied and in good condition. According to the owners wife (Lady Cromartie), the original date is not known but believed to be 15th century and the top storey additions date from 1616. Additions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are built onto the N wall of the castle.

Visited by OS (J B) 23 April 1975

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: D Matheson 1914 Squash Court

The plans shown in photographs C12925-30, C12975/CN-77/CN and C12981/CN (from the survey of plans lent for copying in June 1993 by Mr Mike Taylor) were found in a derelict estate office on the Castle Leod estate. The material relates to two periods of alteration work carried out at Castle Leod, for the Earl of Cromartie-the first in 1851 by Andrew Maitland, who adapted designs by David Bryce, the second in 1904, when the north wing, previously altered in 1874, was mostly rebuilt. The material also relates to the nearby Inchvannie Farm Steading, and the pump room at Strathpeffer Spa, which were both owned by the Castle Leod estate.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCE: NMRS LIBRARY

Country Life, August 3rd 1935 p.130

(Undated) information in NMRS.

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