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Deskie Castle

Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Deskie Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 16024

Site Number NJ13SE 12

NGR NJ 1984 3024

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Inveravon
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Banffshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Local traditions place Deskie Castle on a scarped and levelled knoll near Bridgend of Livet. The knoll lies about half way up a boggy slope near the base of the Hill of Deskie.

Surveyed by the Ordnance Survey in 1973, the site was described as being an oval mound, measuring about 90m by 36m and stood to a height of about 2.5m. Traces of a robbed wall which may once have enclosed the summit were visible in places while a more substantial wall, reduced to its footings, ran across the summit. A series of earthworks lay to the north-west, defending the easier approach. These take the form of three short separate lengths of bank, about 9m wide and 2m high. It is unlikely they were ever part of a continuous system enclosing the site.

Although little remains of the castle, its name was preserved in a child's rhyme once popular in the area: 'Glenlivet it has castles three, Drumin, Blairfindy and Deskie'.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NJ13SE 12 1984 3024.

'Glenlivet it has castles three, Drumin, Blairfindy and Deskie' (Old Rhyme). Deskie is now the name of a farm, but as regards the castle the name is obsolete and but for the rhyme it would hardly be known that a castle of Deskie ever existed. Scarcely a trace of it remains and few even know where to look for the site.

R H Calder 1914.

At NJ 198 302 is a roughly levelled and scarped knoll known locally as 'Deskie Castle'. The knoll now appears as an irregularly oval mound c. 90.0m NW-SE by 36.0m NE-SW and 2.5m high with slight traces of robbed walling around the brink of its N and W sides. Another wall 1.0m wide (reduced to its footings) crosses the summit from NNE-SSW. The whole is situated on a boggy SW- facing slope and is overlooked on the N and E by a natural escarpment. Away from the mound and strategically placed on the W and NW sides are three separate short lengths of earthen banks each about 9.0m in width and 2.0m high. There is no evidence now, however, that the banks ever formed a continuous outer defence to the mound. The earthworks are not of motte and bailey type, but in view of the strong local tradition associating them with Deskie Castle, it is possible that they represent the remains of some form of medieval stronghold.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (A A) 18 August 1973.


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