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Inchdrewer Castle

Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Inchdrewer Castle

Classification Tower House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 18451

Site Number NJ66SE 2

NGR NJ 65598 60714

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Banff
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Banff And Buchan
  • Former County Banffshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ66SE 2 65598 60714

(NJ 6558 6070) Inchdrewer Castle (NR) (In Ruins).

OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1904)

Inchdrewer Castle dates from the period between 1542 and 1700, and was probably remodelled in 1557. In 1713 the castle was destroyed by fire. It consisted originally of an L-shaped tower, the entrance door being in the re-entrant angle. In the 16th century remodelling, a round tower containing a staircase was added to the south, and long rows of buildings, on the north and south of the courtyard, were also added. The wing filling the south-east angle of the courtyard seems to have been added at a later period. The projecting tower at the SW angle of the courtyard has shot-holes, each provided with three openings.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

The remains of Inchdrewer Castle are as described by MacGibbon and Ross (1887-92). The castle is generally in a ruinous condition: on the east side of the courtyard the walls rise almost to the wall-head while, elsewhere, they stand between 0.2m and 3.0m high. The courtyard itself is filled with fallen masonry, among which are many field stones from the adjoining lands.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 29 September 1961.

The ruins of the castle are being renovated by the owner, and all the rubble has been removed from the paved courtyard.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 31 January 1968.

Inchdrewer Castle: standing structure on gentle slope at 104m OD. Built c. 1542, remodelled 1557, destroyed by fire 1713; rebuilt 20th century and now restored.

L-shaped tower of c. 1542. In the late 16th century a round tower containing a staircase was added to the S and a long row of buildings on the N and S of the courtyard. The entrance door was originally in the re-entrant angle but during the remodelling period this was changed to the W so as to front the courtyard. The projecting tower at the SW angle of the courtyard has shotholes each provided with three openings. There was probably a similar tower at the NW angle of the courtyard.

Air photograph: AAS/77/11/SQ/37, flown 17 August 1977.

NMRS, MS/712/35.

Architecture Notes

NJ66SE 2 65598 60714


Inchdrewer Castle.

Owner: - Robin de Lanne Mirrlees.

Site Management (22 December 1992)

Compact 3-storey L-plan tower house on commanding site. Rubble with tooled ashlar dressings. Round-headed doorway in S elevation and similar, but narrow, door way in W re-entrant angle below squinch supporting angle stair tower. These doorways supersede blocked narrow 1st floor entrance flanking stair turret in W re-entrant. Circular stair turret at E rising to corbelled crenellated wallhead, 3 small angle turrets rising from 1st floor or 2nd floor level, that at W supported by squinch. Plain 2-storey, 2-bay gabled wing projects at E. Long 1st floor window in S elevation lights hall. Remaining fenestration (except in 18th century wing) small and irregular with renewed timber multi-pane glazing. Enlarged single window in W gable and 2 similar in N elevation, all of circa 1971 plate glass glazing and lighting former 1st floor hall. Ruinous rubble walls advance from S elevation, flanking former courtyard at E accommodating former kitchen with mural slop sink. Principal entrance probably opened from S courtyard, flanked by round-headed towers, of which vestiges survive. Small round-headed postern gate in W of barmkin wall, with draw-bar hole and draw-bar, entrance protected by diminutive gun loop.

Inchdrewer was purchased by Sir Walter Ogilvie of Dunlugas (or his son, Sir George) in 1557 from the Curror family. A successor, Lord Banff, lived there in 1642 until killed by a fire in the castle in 1713. It was still lived in by 1836. Undated proposals by the architect Oliver Hill exist in the RIBA Drawings Collection. In 1971 Inchdrewer Castle was purchased and partially restored by Robin Mirrlees de la Lanne; a plaque, dated 1971, records this restoration together with the names of J Lamb, architect and A Walker, builder. Inchdrewer Castle stands on a rise with commanding views over Banff Bay and the surrounding countryside. (Historic Scotland)


Photographic Survey (September 1964)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Work in September 1964.


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