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Aberdeen Castle

Castle, Motte (Possible)

Site Name Aberdeen Castle

Classification Castle, Motte (Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Castlehill; Aberdeen, Castle Hill, Barracks

Canmore ID 20130

Site Number NJ90NW 22

NGR NJ 9460 0640

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.


Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90NW 22 9460 0640

See also NJ90NW 786.

(NJ 9560 0640) Infantry Barracks on site of Castle (NR)

OS 1:500 Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1901).

The barracks stand on Castle Hill occupying the area within the ramparts of the Castle of Aberdeen which is first mentioned in 1264, was surrendered to Edward 1 after 1285 and was retaken by Bruce in 1308. Many years later it was razed by the townspeople and St Ninian's Chapel (NJ90NW 38) was built on its site c.1500.

Name Book 1866; G M Fraser 1905.

The site of the castle, on a high eminence over-looking the city, is now occupied by flats.

Visited by OS (JLD) 20 August 1952.

Suggested as motte.

P A Yeoman 1988.

(Additional references cited).

NMRS, MS/712/83.

Air photograph, Cromwell's bastion and site of the castle: AAS/00/08/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/100.

Nothing is visible of either the motte or the later castle of Aberdeen, which lie in a built-up part of the city.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, ATW), 26 February 1997.

Architecture Notes


Aberdeen, Castle Hill, Castlehill Barracks.

Probably 18th Century, 1794-6.

Plans: See G.M.Fraser's "Historical Aberdeen" pp.74-75

" " " Archibald Simpson, architect and his times. 1908.


Online Gallery (1306 - 1329)

The year 2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, in which the army of Robert I of Scotland defeated that of Edward II of England. The battle marked a major turning point in the long, drawn-out struggle of the Wars of Independence.

The Wars have had a lasting influence upon all the nations of the United Kingdom and upon the national story. Each age has seen fit to commemorate the events in its own way: through the perpetuation of the genuine historical associations of buildings and places and also through the endowment of others with improbable or fanciful traditions. Where past generations allowed its historic buildings to decay and disappear, later generations began to value and actively preserve these for their associations. Where an event lacked a tangible reminder, as at Kinghorn where Alexander III was killed in a riding accident, a commemorative monument would be erected to act as a focus. The Wars of Independence predate the fashion for accurate portraiture: the weathered, generic military effigy of Sir James Douglas is one of the few to survive in Scotland. Later centuries saw a need and supplied it by a crowd of images of its historic heroes, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, each depicted according to contemporary taste and imagination. The opening of the new heritage centre at Bannockburn takes this into a new dimension, through the use of three-dimensional, digital technology.

RCAHMS Collections hold many images of these buildings and locations from battlefields, castles and churches, to the many commemorative monuments erected in later years. This gallery highlights a selection of these, including antiquarian sketches, photographic and drawn surveys, and architectural designs.


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