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Culbin House

Country House (Medieval)

Site Name Culbin House

Classification Country House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Coulbin, Cubin House

Canmore ID 15605

Site Number NH96SE 2

NGR NH 99 61

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Dyke And Moy
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Morayshire

Archaeology Notes

NH96SE 2 99 61.

The Barony of Culbin, the first known owners of the land were the de Moravia family, Richard Moray, brother of Gilbert, 4th Bishop of Caithness, was the first recorded occupier. He lived about 1240. The Morays held the land until the early part of the 15th century, when it passed by marriage to the Kinnaird family. Alexander Kinnaird was the last of this line, and it was in his time, late 1694 or early 1695, that the final devastation of the estate took place, though the encroachment of the sand must have been a gradual process.

No map or plan is known to exist which shows the farms and buildings of the estate before it was overrun by sand. The charter of 1586 (detailed by Mackintosh) states that it consisted of The Mains of Culbin, with manor place, houses, biggins, yards, tofts, crofts, doves, dovecots- the Hill of Findhorn, with houses and biggins, the ferme coble on the water of Findhorn, with the mussel scalps and salmon fishings called the Stells of Culbin - the lands of Mackrodder alias Mirrietown; the lands of Aikenhead, alias Ranchkers, with houses, biggins, yards, dovecots, fishings both fresh and salt and cottages - the lands of Binn, alias Middle Binn, with houses and biggins - the whole of the lands of Laick and Sandifield, the land of Deliath, alias Delpottie, with the mill of Delpotie - the whole of the Manse of the Chapel of St. Ninian, with houses, biggins, crofts - all the salmon fishing on the Earnhill, with manor place houses, biggins; all the lands of Easter Binn. Most of these places, except Earnhill and Easter Binn (Binsness) cannot now be located.

The estate originally covered some 3600 acres, and included sixteen fair sized farms and farmhouses. In 1694 the money rental was $2720 Scots, by 1733 it had fallen to $494.

Culbin House - a square building of dressed stones standing in the centre of the property - is now buried under one of the big sand dunes - traditionally under the first one advancing into the sand-hills by the path at the cottages east of Kincorth House (NJ 012616), but traces found a few years before 1937 suggest it stood in a hollow to the north west of this dune. Here some foundations of a large house were found. The house did reappear on one occasion about the end of the 18th century when many stones were removed. Subsequently the chimneys of a big house are said to have appeared but it is not known where. An elderberry tree is still growing in the sands just west of the area (NJ 024 640) marked on Stears Map, and near it are two cultivation rigs. These trees are commonly planted near habitations in this part of Scotland.

J A Steers 1937; C F Mackintosh 1913

(NH 9961) "Coulbinn" is marked on Pont's manuscript map and apparently was situated to the northwest of the present Welhill, approximately in this Km. The settlements of Laik (possibly Lake of Moy - NJ 01 62) Mourton, possibly the Mirrietown of the charter of 1586 (Muirtown NH

99 59) Grangehill changed to Dalvey (NJ 00 58) in 1740, and Kintessak are also marked on Pont's map. The latter would seem, from its relative position to Kirk of Moy (NJ 01 59), Laik and Grangehill , to have been nearer the Kincorth House (NJ 01 61) than the present village of Kintessack.

T Pont "Mapp of Murray" c.1600-1650; L Shaw 1882

Architecture Notes

Exact location of 'Cubin House' mentioned in the following reference is

uncertain, it may refer to this site NH96SE 2.

REFERENCE - Scottish Record Office



/26 Jas Dunbar to Do., Kincorth, 18 Feb.

Hopes for his return N as "what you propose to be done at Cubin House will be much better ordered in your presence...

"Kirkie *was with me this day, and I told him fully of your intention of clearing away the Little Houses that were so near to your House, and he has promised that his tennent there should be no hindrance to your Scheme..." *i.e. the minister



/4 Jas Grieve, C. Grant, to Sir L., 25 Jan.-

Sent Wright's amended acct some time ago, he now demands payment. "Mr ffrew goes off on Tuesday as the stone are not yet done from the Polda, where they have been lying this fortnight, tho' I applied Belliemore, Whiteraw & Tulliglen." Mr Vass carted them from water of Findhorn.

In high winds last Mon. and Tues. "several trees in the New Avenue were blown down, and lucky Scot's house; but as the wall jetted out, the roof fell outwards along the side of it, by which means the poor creature luckily escaped Several sclates are also blown off the front of the New house."

Warns Sir L. that they keep too many porters in family absence.

/38 Lachlan Grant to Sir L., Edr, 19 Feb.

"I have paid Mr Adams ?200 qch is the only Cash I got from mr Bissett", and signed IOUs for rest.

(Henry Vass is "the Secretary" at Cubin; James Dunbar, Kinkorth - ? factor there.


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