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Pitcur Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Pitcur Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Pitcur Tower House

Canmore ID 30544

Site Number NO23NE 2

NGR NO 25154 36986

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kettins
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO23NE 2 25154 36986.

(NO 2515 3699) Castle of Pitcur (NR) (Ruins of)

OS 6" map (1926)

See also NO23NE 16.01.

The Castle of Pitcur is a lofty square tower, now ruinous. It was possibly built in the early 16th c. A J Warden 1884; NSA 1845

Pitcur Castle is a well-preserved roofless ruin of 4 storeys. It is of T-plan construction and contains a round tower in the NW re-entrant angle. The round- arched entrance, with iron yett, is in the N front. The walls, of coursed rubble, are generally 1.2m thick, and a fireplace and remains of two barrel-vaulted cellars are contained on the ground floor. These features bear out its 16th c date.

Visited by OS (JLD) 28 April 1958

Pitcur Castle, apparently of 16th c date, is ruinous, but maintained in good condition. The alterations to the roofline much detract from the appearance of the building. The N wing appears to be an addition to the earlier ablong main block. The property belonged to a branch of the Chisholm family at an early date, passing through marriage to the Halyburtons, who remained long in possession, in 1432.

N Tranter 1966

No change to previous report.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 10 June 1976

Pitcur Castle is a stepped L-plan tower-house of late 15th- or early 16th-century date, which was remodelled in the late 16th century with the addition of a semi-circular stair-turret in the W re-entrant angle; in the late 19th century the building was consolidated and the wall-head modified. The main block is of three principal storeys (13.33m from WSW to ENE by 8.05m transversely over rubble walls 1.2m thick at ground floor level) and the wing of four (7.95m by 4.67m overall), and the stair-turret has three stages, each marked by a chamfered and cavetto-moulded string-course; the entrance (round-headed, with a moulded surround consisting of an edge-roll, fillet and hollow roll moulding, and fitted with a 19th-century wrought iron grill) is in the NNW wall and has a panel-niche above. The vaulted basement in the main block is divided into two chambers and is lit by a series of keyhole loops (later blocked); access to both chambers was modified at the time the stair-turret was built.

The first-floor hall, which was originally also vaulted (now only the cut-back haunches survive), retains the tusking and jambs for a canopied fireplace (carried on clustered and moulded shafts with caps) and was lit by three windows (half-shuttered, direct glazed and barred; that closest to the fireplace has a moulded external surround), all with window-seats, and two high-level windows flanking the fireplace (one a bull's eye); there are two aumbries, one beside the fireplace and the other in the opposite wall (and originally shelved); a salt-box is set in the jamb of the fireplace. The third floor has the usual arrangement of two chambers, each with a window and garderobe. In the wing, the ground floor is divided into kitchen and vestibule; the floors above provided additional accommodation and, with the exception of the third-floor chamber, all were provided with garderobes.

The lands of Pitcur are on record in 1315; in 1432 they passed by marriage from the family of Chisholme to Halyburton. Stobie depicts the tower as ruinous.

Visited by RCAHMS (IMS/PC) 20 June 1989.


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