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Mains Of Skeith

Barn (Period Unassigned), Castle (Medieval), Cottage (Period Unassigned), Stable (Period Unassigned), Threshing Mill (19th Century)

Site Name Mains Of Skeith

Classification Barn (Period Unassigned), Castle (Medieval), Cottage (Period Unassigned), Stable (Period Unassigned), Threshing Mill (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Of Skeith; Skeith Castle; Castle Of Skuth

Canmore ID 17994

Site Number NJ56SW 5

NGR NJ 5041 6035

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/17994

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

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ56SW 5 5041 6035.

(NJ 5041 6035) Castle of Skeith (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1905)

One mile to the south of Deskford church are the ruins of the castle of Skuth.

Statistical Account (OSA) 1791-9.

The site of this castle is on the west side of the present farm steading. A small vestige of the ruin forms a part of the north-end garden wall.

Name Book 1866.

No certain trace of this castle was found. A stretch of c.8.0m of the west end of the north wall of the garden (NJ 5040 6034) is a wall of mortared rubble masonry c.2.0m high in situ, as opposed to the rest of the walls obviously more recent construction. But as it is featureless it is impossible to say if it is part of the castle or of a courtyard. Inserted over the entrance to the farm-house (NJ 5042 6032) is a triangular stone bearing the date 1687.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 18 September 1961.

No change.

Visited by OS (NKB) 4 July 1967.

NJ 5041 6035 The site of Castle of Skeith (Skuth) (NJ56SW5) is shown on the 1871 OS map directly to the W of the farm steading of Mains of Skeith. The earliest cartographic reference to the castle appears to be a tower house named Skyith on Pont's map of 1580-90. This pre-dates a date stone of 1687 which has been incorporated into the present farmhouse. The Statistical Account of 1791-9 records that the castle was in ruins by the 1790s. A standing building survey was conducted in July 2006 prior to demolition and replacement of the farm steading. Later a watching brief in September 2006 observed the excavation of new foundations in the area nearest to the site of the former castle.

The survey revealed considerable detail of one of the buildings, a water-driven threshing mill possibly of mid 19th-century date with a barn above and later stables added at one end. A cottage, later used as a bothy, may have been contemporary. Before the 1st Edition OS map of 1871 the steading had been enlarged to form a quadrangle. The 19th-century buildings had clearly reused stone from the castle ruins, as a number of dressed sandstone blocks were identified, including a moulding from a spiral stair and one from a window.

Reports lodged with Aberdeenshire SMR and NMRS.

Sponsor: G Stewart and Co.

H K Murray and J C Murray, 2006.

Activities

Reference (1791 - 1799)

One mile to the south of Deskford church are the ruins of the castle of Skuth.

Statistical Account (OSA) 1791-9.

Field Visit (1866)

The site of this castle is on the west side of the present farm steading. A small vestige of the ruin forms a part of the north-end garden wall.

Name Book 1866.

Field Visit (18 September 1961)

No certain trace of this castle was found. A stretch of c.8.0m of the west end of the north wall of the garden (NJ 5040 6034) is a wall of mortared rubble masonry c.2.0m high in situ, as opposed to the rest of the walls obviously more recent construction. But as it is featureless it is impossible to say if it is part of the castle or of a courtyard. Inserted over the entrance to the farm-house (NJ 5042 6032) is a triangular stone bearing the date 1687.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 18 September 1961.

Field Visit (4 July 1967)

No change.

Visited by OS (NKB) 4 July 1967.

Standing Building Recording (July 2006)

NJ 5041 6035 The site of Castle of Skeith (Skuth) (NJ56SW5) is shown on the 1871 OS map directly to the W of the farm steading of Mains of Skeith. The earliest cartographic reference to the castle appears to be a tower house named Skyith on Pont's map of 1580-90. This pre-dates a date stone of 1687 which has been incorporated into the present farmhouse. The Statistical Account of 1791-9 records that the castle was in ruins by the 1790s. A standing building survey was conducted in July 2006 prior to demolition and replacement of the farm steading. Later a watching brief in September 2006 observed the excavation of new foundations in the area nearest to the site of the former castle.

The survey revealed considerable detail of one of the buildings, a water-driven threshing mill possibly of mid 19th-century date with a barn above and later stables added at one end. A cottage, later used as a bothy, may have been contemporary. Before the 1st Edition OS map of 1871 the steading had been enlarged to form a quadrangle. The 19th-century buildings had clearly reused stone from the castle ruins, as a number of dressed sandstone blocks were identified, including a moulding from a spiral stair and one from a window.

Reports lodged with Aberdeenshire SMR and NMRS.

Sponsor: G Stewart and Co.

H K Murray and J C Murray 2006

Watching Brief (September 2006)

NJ 5041 6035 The site of Castle of Skeith (Skuth) (NJ56SW5) is shown on the 1871 OS map directly to the W of the farm steading of Mains of Skeith. The earliest cartographic reference to the castle appears to be a tower house named Skyith on Pont's map of 1580-90. This pre-dates a date stone of 1687 which has been incorporated into the present farmhouse. The Statistical Account of 1791-9 records that the castle was in ruins by the 1790s. A standing building survey was conducted in July 2006 prior to demolition and replacement of the farm steading. Later a watching brief in September 2006 observed the excavation of new foundations in the area nearest to the site of the former castle.

The survey revealed considerable detail of one of the buildings, a water-driven threshing mill possibly of mid 19th-century date with a barn above and later stables added at one end. A cottage, later used as a bothy, may have been contemporary. Before the 1st Edition OS map of 1871 the steading had been enlarged to form a quadrangle. The 19th-century buildings had clearly reused stone from the castle ruins, as a number of dressed sandstone blocks were identified, including a moulding from a spiral stair and one from a window.

Reports lodged with Aberdeenshire SMR and NMRS.

Sponsor: G Stewart and Co.

H K Murray and J C Murray 2006

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