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Kilconquhar House

Country House (Period Unassigned), Garden (Period Unassigned), Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Kilconquhar House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Garden (Period Unassigned), Tower House (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Kilconquhar Castle; Kilconquhar Estate; Kilconquhar Castle Estate And Country Club; Timeshare Village

Canmore ID 32553

Site Number NO40SE 12

NGR NO 49305 02705

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Kilconquhar
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO40SE 12.00 49305 02705 Kilconquhar House

NO40SE 12.01 48858 02415 South Lodge

NO40SE 12.02 49194 02889 Dovecot

NO40SE 12.03 48797 03034 North Gates

NO40SE 12.04 4940 0283 Stables

NO40SE 12.05 49522 02530 Woodcutter's Cottage

NO40SE 12.06 49603 02540 Pines (Cottage)

NO40SE 12.07 49623 02502 Firs (Cottage)

See also:

NO40SE 263.00 48878 02922 Kilconquhar Mains

NO40SE 263.01 48790 02819 Kilconquhar Mains, Farm Cottages

NO40SE 342 48851 02316 Old Lodge

NO40SE 348 48862 02111 Chauffeur's Cottage

(NO 4931 0269) Kilconquhar House (NAT)

OS 6" map (1938)

Kilconquhar Castle: A characteristic specimen of a Scottish turreted castle of the L-plan. It was surrounded by a mound and ditch, remains of which existed to the 19th century.

A large modern mansion surrounds the old building on all sides except the SW. Viewing from the north towards the re-entrant angle, a good illustration of the 17th century Scottish style can be seen.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892

The S of the house is late 16th century, hemmed in by modern extensions, modernised internally, and considerably altered externally.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 1927

As described. There is no trace of the bank and ditch surrounding the house.

Visited by OS (JP) 30 May 1974

Architecture Notes


ARCHITECT: David Bryce, additions

William Burn, alterations and additions - Sir Henry Bethune



Building work at Kilconquhar House.

A record of payments made to quarriers, masons and plasterers for work done for John Bethune, includes those made for work at Kilconquhar House.

1786 GD203/11/5/25


Scots Magazine, December 1811 - 1 engraving


Field Visit (18 August 1927)

Kilconquhar House.

The southern corner of Kilconquhar House is a late 16th century building, but it is so hemmed in by modern extensions that only on the west is there a clear view of the older part from ground to roof. The upper portion of it near the re-entrant angle is, however, visible above the modern buildings in the stable court. The old house has been entirely modernised internally, and it has also been considerably altered externally. It has five storeys. The plan is L-shaped, the main block running north-west and south-east, while the wing extends north-east in alignment with the southern wall, thus leaving the re-entrant angle open to the north. On the south is a stair-tower of the 18th century, which must occupy very much the same site as the original staircase, since an original turret-stair, which is corbelled out in the south-east re-entrant angle, gives access from the fourth floor to its roof. Towards the wall-head the three angles of the main block expand into squat turrets containing ‘studies’, while the eastern angles of the wing are similarly provided with smaller turrets. The older masonry is of rubble but that of the turrets is ashlar, and except in the turrets the windows have all been renewed. The upper storey of the wing is set forward on a string-course which is in alignment with the upper member of the wing turrets. The chimney-stalks, the cornice, and the balustrade of the stair tower are modern.

HISTORICAL NOTE. At the date of the original building the lands of Kilconquhar belonged to Sir John Bellenden or Ballenden, Lord Justice-Clerk in 1547, who also acquired the baronies of Broughton and Woodhouselee in Midlothian. He left Kilconquhar to the eldest son of his third marriage, who was. succeeded by his uncle Adam Bellenden, bishop of Dunblane. On the suppression of the bishops in 1640 Adam Bellenden sold the lands to Sir John Carstairs (1).

RCAHMS 1933, 18 August 1927.

(1) Staggering State of the Scots Statesmen, by Sir John Scot of Scotstarvit. Cf. Inventory of Monuments in Midlothian, No. 101.


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