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Beldorney Castle

Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Beldorney Castle

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Beldornie; Beldornay; Beldorny

Canmore ID 17267

Site Number NJ43NW 13

NGR NJ 42259 36980

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Glass
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Beldorney Castle, 1550s. Disarmingly substantial Z-plan mansion with massive circular tower (with striking rounded-

gable finish) at south-east and a square tower topped with a dog finial, at the north-west. Fine Gothic mouldings to exterior doors and panels. The ground floor is vaulted as normal; the hall at the first floor was divided into dining and drawing rooms in the late 17th century when bolection-moulded chimney pieces and coved ceilings were added. The

north wing is probably 17th century, remodelled twice in 19th century (latterly by A Marshall Mackenzie); the south wing was rebuilt in later 18th century. The Renaissance gate and courtyard wall on the west are of 1673. Remodelled later 17th century, additions and repairs, 1890, A Marshall Mackenzie; restored 1982-8; Iain Begg.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NJ43NW 13.00 42259 36980

NJ43NW 13.01 4177 3661 Mains of Beldorney

NJ43NW 13.02 4210 3693 and 4212 3695 Beldorney Cottages

NJ43NW 13.03 4211 3706 Keeeper's Cottage

(NJ 4226 3698) Beldorney Castle (NR)

OS 6" map, Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

Beldorney Castle belongs to the Z-plan, a main block lying approximately north and south, with a square stair tower projecting to the north-west and a large round tower to the south-east. The walls are roughcast and of three storeys. A later and lower wing has been thrust out westwards, parallel with the stair tower, to form a small paved entrance courtyard enclosed by a wall and gateway. Over the gateway is a stone bearing the date 1678, believed to belong to additions to the earlier building (ONB 1870). The original entrance is to the west, within the courtyard, in the foot of the stairtower. There is a modern house attached to the north.

The Gordons came to Beldorney about 1500 (Press and Journal 1965). In 1554 Gordon Beldorney is recorded as buying the property of Wester Fowlis from Huntly, but that date seems too early for the present house, which would appear to date from the first half of the 17th century.

Name Book 1870; N Tranter 1962-70; Press and Journal 1965.

Beldorney Castle, as described.

Visited by OS (RL) 9 October 1967.

Air photograph: AAS/00/05/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/100.

Architecture Notes


Owner: Sir Thomas Birkett. (source - Aberdeenshire 3rd Statistical Account. Pub 1960)


Plans: old plans in possession of A.G.R. Mackenzie, A.R.S.A, F.R.I.B.A, Aberdeen (May 1941)

Plans of the castle including additions made about 1885.


Watching Brief (30 July 2014 - 5 August 2014)

NJ 4223 3698 A watching brief was undertaken, 30 July – 5 August 2014, during works associated with the rebuilding of the gable wall of the late 18th-century, single-storey S wing of the 16th-century castle. There was no evidence of an earlier S wing below the gable and no archaeological finds or features were recorded.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended). Report and photographs: Aberdeenshire SMR

Funder: Thomas Munro and Co

HK Murray – Murray Archaeological Services Ltd

(Source: DES)


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