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Burgie Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Burgie Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Burgie Tower

Canmore ID 15765

Site Number NJ05NE 1

NGR NJ 09368 59314

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Rafford
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Morayshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ05NE 1.00 09368 59314

NJ05NE 1.01 09331 59299 Dovecot

For (successor) Burgie House (NJ 0903 5948) and dependant buildings, see NJ05NE 14.00.

(NJ 0937 5931) Burgie Castle (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map (1906)

Burgie Castle: This is a well-preserved square tower, which formed part of a larger bulding on the Z-plan, of which the greater part is now removed. The plan shows the probable outline of the main block.

The north west tower and a portion of the main block are the only part of the building now remaining. In the fragment of the main block still left is the fireplace; with above it the coat of arms of the Dunbars, its founders, and the date 1602; its date of foundation.

The building above to the right in Nattes' sketch (J C Nattes unpublished sketches c.1799) is evidently a later addition.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887

To the west of the tower, by the entrance to the gardens is a dovecot (NJ05NE 1.01) measuring 19 x 17 feet. The small doors and thick walls indicate a dovecot of the old type. No date is visible.

R Douglas 1931

Burgie Castle, and the dovecot (NJ05NE 1.01) at NJ 0932 5929, are as described above. Above the door of the dovecot is an opening similar to those found in the Findrassie and Leuchars dovecots, the former of which bears the date 1631.

Castle revised at 25".

Visited by OS (RD) 6 August 1965.

Burgie Castle [NR]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1975.

Horse-exercising area noted.

NMRS, MS/712/17.

Burgie Castle: impressive square tower which formed part of a larger Z-plan building which was formerly of six storeys; in the main block there is a fireplace with above it the coat of arms of the Dunbars (its founders) and the date 1602 (its date of foundation). There is a true yett at the basement entrance and a superb stone-lined well of curved ashlar construction about 6m S of the NW tower; the conical cover of this feature is broken. The greater part of the building was demolished about 1800 to provide material for Burgie House (NJ05NE 14.00), leaving the NW tower and part of the main block standing.

NMRS, MS/712/19.

Architecture Notes


National Library. Nattes Drawings - 2 drawings, Oct 15th, vol. 1, nos. 10 & 17


Photographic Survey (21 April 2008 - 6 May 2008)

NJ 0936 5931 Burgie Castle is the tower of a former tower house which is both scheduled and listed. A very similar tower house not far away, Blervie, collapsed about three years ago and Burgie was in imminent danger until the present stabilisation work. Major vertical cracks had appeared in the fabric, the roof was in very poor condition and mortar had failed in the walls at roof level. Work undertaken from 21 April–6 May 2008 accompanied emergency works by the Highland Buildings Preservation Trust to stabilise the building until a conservation project can be developed. A rapid photographic record was made of the building itself. The watching brief covered the opening of a small number of pits to form the bases for supporting scaffolding. 98% of the excavations were monitored.

Archive: HAS Office

Funder: Captain Hamish Lochore

Brendan Malone (Highland Archaeology Services Ltd), 2008


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