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Castle Of Cullen Of Buchan

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Castle Of Cullen Of Buchan

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Mains Of Cullen; Cullen Castle

Canmore ID 19299

Site Number NJ76SW 5

NGR NJ 7317 6365

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/19299

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

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ76SW 5 7317 6365.

(NJ 7317 6365) Mains of Cullen on site of (NAT)

Castle of Cullen of Buchan (NR)

OS 6" map, (1938)

The Castle of Cullen - Buchan is the ancient residence of one of the oldest families in Scotland - Barclay de Tolly.

The farm-house of Mains of Cullen on the same site has the appearance of having been an appendage of the Castle for its walls are thick and built of clay.

The only remaining memorials of the castle itself are a stone on the south-east corner of the present dwelling house with the initials VB x EH - presumably Walter Barclay and Elizabeth Hay - and the Barclay arms with date 1574; and another stone on the north-east corner with apparently the same letters, with the coat of arms but no date. Until 1807 about 40ft of the Castle walls extended eastward from the farm-house and contained an arched gateway and "the Pit". Thence running northward for 40-50ft were remains of the castle walls - described by the demolition party as of great strength and thickness.

J B Pratt 1901.

NJ 7317 6367. No remains of the castle are evident. The older part of the farmhouse (NJ 7317 6367) of Mains of Cullen has walls c1.2m thick; the farmer was unable to give the date of the building's erection. The stones bearing the initals VB x EH on the SE and NE corners of the farmhouse are not to be seen. However, set in the SE and SW corners of the farmhouse, at eaves level, are two small stones with coats of arms.

Visited by OS (EGC) 24 September 1963.

No change.

Visited by OS (RL) 30 January 1968.

NJ 7318 6369 A 10% evaluation was carried out in June 2003 prior to development for a dwelling house. Nothing is visible of the medieval castle of Cullen, although the older part of the farmhouse (Mains of Cullen) has the appearance of being an appendage of the castle due to the thickness of its walls. This structure was almost totally destroyed by fire in 2001, and although the external walls were left standing to two-thirds of their original height, they were in an extremely dangerous state and the building was subject to a demolition order.

It was not possible to undertake a full measured survey, but a limited photographic survey was undertaken while the remaining structure was demolished. It seems unlikely that the farmhouse formed a part of the original castle as a great variety of pieces of architectural masonry of varying dates were incorporated into its structure. Six evaluation trenches were excavated in the walled garden area to the E of the farmhouse, but no archaeological feature or finds were evident.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Mr Gordon Allen.

J C Murray 2003

NJ 7319 6367 Work was undertaken on 11 January 2007 to observe the excavation of the foundations of a new house

adjacent to the former Castle of Cullen, thought to be of late 16th- to early 17th-century date. No archaeological features or finds were evident.

Report deposited with Aberdeenshire SMR and RCAHMS.

Funder: Mr and Mrs Allen.

J C Murray, 2007.

Activities

Watching Brief (11 January 2007)

NJ 7319 6367 Work was undertaken on 11 January 2007 to observe the excavation of the foundations of a new house adjacent to the former Castle of Cullen, thought to be of late 16th- to early 17th-century date. No archaeological features or finds were evident.

Report deposited with Aberdeenshire SMR and RCAHMS.

Funder: Mr and Mrs Allen.

J C Murray, 2007.

References

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