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Arnage Castle

Castle (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Arnage Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Arnage Castle Estate; Arnage Castle Policies

Canmore ID 20468

Site Number NJ93NW 7

NGR NJ 93495 37045

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Arnage Castle, late 16th century, Thomas Leper; partly remodelled (gables) late 17th/early 18th century. The pinned rubble, now so laboriously exposed, was once decently harled to emphasise the fine details such as the triple Leper shot-holes, so similar to Tolquhon and Schivas. Other probable Leper work includes the original door, now blocked, in the south-east re-entrant, the vaulted ground floor and the engaging double stair-turrets in the angles. Matthews' 1860

baronial entrance is more institutional than domestic; his addition on south, remodelling of north-east wing and infilling of north reentrant are of varying success: addition to Matthews' wing, 1964, D C Stewart.

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ93NW 7.00 93495 37045

NJ93NW 7.01 9369 3739 Home Farm

NJ93NW 7.02 9360 3569 Mains of Arnage

NJ93NW 7.03 9457 3752 East Lodge

NJ93NW 7.04 9335 3588 South Lodge

NJ93NW 7.05 9341 3690 Garden

(NJ 9350 3705) Arnage Castle (NAT)

OS 6" map, (1959)

A Z-plan mansion to which additions have been made. It is supposed to have been built about 1650 (sic ? 1550 meant) on the site of an older keep.

Arnage was the property of the Cheynes until about 1630 after which it passed through various hands until acquired by the family of Ross of Arnage in 1702.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

Arnage Castle is in good condition and still occupied. The additions have masked much of the original work, but the W and E sides are still exposed. Flanking a blocked-up door in the E re-entrant angle are wide-mouthed gun ports and decorative shot holes, similar to those at the House of Schivas (NJ83NE 30), suggesting a date in the last half of the 16th century.

Visited by OS (A A) 1 March 1973.

Architecture Notes


OWNER: Mr. Donald Stewart, renovated & modernised. (Source - Aberdeenshire 3rd. Statistical Account. Pub. 1960.)

ARCHITECT: James Matthews - modern wing


Old plans in the possession of A.G.R. Mackenzie, A.R.S.A., F.R.I.B.A., 3 Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen. (May 1941).

Incomplete plans showing additions by James Matthews about 1860.


Standing Building Recording (December 2008)

NJ 9349 3704 Arnage Castle dates from the late 16th century when Thomas Leper built a Z-plan tower house some 7km N of Ellon. The castle was remodelled in the late 17th or early 18th century and extended further when a large wing was added in 1860. The survey, undertaken in December 2008, provided drawings and photographs of architectural features in the castle’s external faces prior to their being reharled, the original harling having been removed and the stonework re-pointed in the 1960s.

Archive and Report: Aberdeenshire Council SMR and RCAHMS

Funder: Mr Gareth T Jones

Sam Scott – Scotia Archaeology


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