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Moncur Castle

Castle (Medieval), Fortified House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Moncur Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Fortified House (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Rossie Priory Policies

Canmore ID 30401

Site Number NO22NE 2

NGR NO 28351 29519

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/30401

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

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Inchture
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO22NE 2 28351 29519

(NO 2835 2952) Moncur Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1959)

Moncur Castle: A small house of the period 1540-1700, three storeys in height and in a roofless, dismantled condition.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887

Destroyed by fire about the beginning of the 18th century.

NSA 1845 (E S Walker)

Only the shell of this castle remains, with walls to a maximum height of c.10.0m. The tower is Z-plan with a large circular tower at its SW angle and rectangular tower at its NE angle. Between the circular tower and the SW wall of the castle is a smaller circular tower with turnpike stairway. The remains are overgrown with vegetation.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 15 June 1964

The roofless ruin of Moncur Castle, a Z-plan house of 17th-century date, stands within the policies of Rossie Priory. It consists of a main block of three principal storeys (15.4m from NNW to SSE by 7.3m transversely over walls 1.2m thick at ground-floor level) with two towers, one square the other round, on the N and S respectively; the gables were crow-stepped and the chimney-stacks coped. The entrance (enriched with a quirked edge-roll and fillet, and cavetto moulding) was in the re-entrant on the E side of the N tower and opened onto the principal stair; a newel-stair, rising to the full height of the main block, is extruded in the W re-entrant of the S tower. Although probably a unitary work, there is evidence to suggest that the stair-turret in the W re-entrant of the S tower was probably an addition to the original plan; the main block and towers rise from a chamfered plinth, but in the case of the stair-turret, the plinth is absent, and the turret is only in bond at first-floor level and above. There is a fine series of masons' marks throughout the house.

Within, the vaulted ground-floor, accommodation consisted of a kitchen and two store-rooms, connected by a service corridor running the length of the block; features at the kitchen end include the springing for the fireplace, an oven and a slop-sink. The first-floor hall was endowed with a main-fireplace central to the ENE wall (wrought with a stout edge-roll); at the NNW end of the WSW wall there is a mural press and towards the SSE end of the same wall a garderobe. On the second floor provision was made for two chambers and that on the SSE was furnished with a fireplace which has a moulded surround. Further accommodation was provided in the two towers, and each of the chambers in the S tower is provided with a window, an aumbry and a fireplace; that on the first-floor is vaulted.

On the WSW side of the house, and extending S beside the old track to Moncur steading, there is a ditch up to 5.2m broad and 1m deep (for which, see also NO22NE 11).

In the early 15th century Moncur was in the hands of a branch of the Kinnaird family; it became the family seat in the 16th century, but the house itself was abandoned, following a fire, in the early 18th century.

Visited by RCAHMS (IMS) June 1989.

NSA 1845; OS 6-inch map Perthshire, 1st ed. (1867), sheet 87; Millar 1890; D Mac Gibbon and T Ross 1887-92; L Melville 1939.

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