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Fraserburgh, Wine Tower

Tower (18th Century)

Site Name Fraserburgh, Wine Tower

Classification Tower (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Kinnaird Head

Canmore ID 20780

Site Number NJ96NE 9

NGR NJ 99937 67510

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ96NE 9 99937 67510

(NJ 9993 6750) Wine Tower (NAT).

OS 6" map, (1938).

For adjacent Kinnaird Head Lighthouse (NJ 99864 67528), see NJ96NE 7.

The Wine Tower is most probably so called because it was the wine-cellar of those who at one time resided in the nearby castle which is now the lighthouse. Under this tower is a cave more than 100 feet in length.

NSA 1845.

Wine Tower: No satisfactory explanation of its existence has been produced for this tower. It is clearly a 16th century work, subsequent to the first quarter of that century, and built by the Frasers. It is built of very rough masonry in three stories, all vaulted, with walls about 5 ft thick and measures externally 26 feet 7 inches by 21 feet by 27 feet high. It is probably connected with the cave below.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

NJ 9993 6750. The tower is as described above.

Visited by OS (EGC) 27 November 1962.

No change.

Visited by OS (NKB) 16 January 1969.

Lord Saltoun (Saltoun 1963) states that the Wine Tower and Kinnaird (NJ96NE 7) were 'almost certainly successors one of another'. They were two of a chain of castles along the Buchan coast probably originated by the Comyns in the 13th century.

W D Simpson 1951; Saltoun 1963.


Publication Account (2010)

The Wine Tower would have stood at the corner of an outer courtyard below the tower. It was altered to serve as a magazine for militia in the late eighteenth century, but its principal room inside retains its original ceiling.

Information from ‘The Scottish Burgh Survey, Historic Fraserburgh: Archaeology and Development’, (2010).

Watching Brief (1 March 2011)

NJ 9992 6750 A watching brief was maintained on 1 March 2011 during the excavation of a new foundation trench for a stair base at the Wine Tower. The removal of the existing stair and widening of the footprint of the existing concrete foundation did not reveal any archaeological finds or features.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology 2011


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