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Desk Based Assessment

Date 1962

Event ID 666583

Category Recording

Type Desk Based Assessment


NJ26NW 10 centred 23091 65852

(NJ 2307 6584) Palace of Spynie (NR)

(Ruins) Davie's Tower (NR)

Chapel (NR)

OS 6" map, Morayshire, 2nd ed., (1906)

Location formerly entered as centred NJ 2307 6584.

The 'Castle of Spynie', an Episcopal residence, is first mentioned at the end of the 13th century; but no part of the present ruins is of so early a date. The name 'Palace of Spynie' occurs first in 1472, and this authority uses either name interchangeably. The chapel and the adjoining SE tower, are the earliest traceable parts, and date from the end of the 14th century David's Tower, built c. 1461-76 by Bishop David Stewart - hence the name, was completed by 1482 and altered c.1535-73. The decay began in 1690.

The chief feature is the keep, which measures 62ft 5ins by 44ft 3ins and is about 73ft in height. This keep forms the south-western defence of the large irregular courtyard, enclosed by walls 5ft 3ins thick, with smaller towers at the other three corners. Of these, the tower to the NE is almost completely demolished and its foundations are buried in a mass of rubble. The enceinte walls are now much destroyed, but in places still remain to a height of c.25ft. Against the north, east and west walls were buildings now entirely destroyed; and on the south side was the chapel, correctly oriented and distinguished by its pointed windows. The main gate in the east was defended by a portcullis.

W D Simpson 1927.

Information from Ordnance Survey Index Card.

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