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Tayport Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Tayport Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Canmore ID 33059

Site Number NO42NE 1

NGR NO 4566 2909

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Ferry-port-on-craig
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO42NE 1 4566 2909.

(NO 4566 2909) The Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1854)

In 1854 the remains of the Castle, as described by MacGibbon and Ross, were still in use as a store.

Name Book 1854

'Ferry-Port-on-Craig Castle. This edifice, of which nothing now remains, was probably the most massive example of the Z plan in Scotland. It stood on ground rising up from the Tay, over-looking the entrance to the river opposite Broughty Castle. About the year 1855, the vaulted ground floor, the only portion then remaining, was removed. The small village of Ferry-Port-on-Craig (now Tayport) which then adjoined the castle on the east has since extended round the site.

The castle was about 40 feet square, with two round towers at the south-east and north-west angles, each about 26 feet in diameter. The walls varied in thickness from about 7 feet up to 12 feet 6 inches. The entrance doorway was on the east side." The "villa" and "porter" are mentioned in the lands of "South Ferry of Portincraig' in a charter of James VI dated 18th May 1588. On 1st February 1592, James ratified the same charter in favour of Robert Malvile" and specially the six acres of land called Gibbisland "cum domo et turre super"'.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892

Similar information 'In several State documents, dated 1548, references are made to a fortalice built by certain Fife guard the ferry, as Broughty was then in possession of the English. It may never have been completed, as the necessity for defence was obviated by the withdrawal of the English troops. Possibly this ruin (at Ferry Port on Craig) was part of the fort.'

A H Millar 1895

Castle Tayport. 'An old castle in which there are several vaults quite entire' (Statistical Account {OSA} 1792). The site, said to be nearly opposite the gas-works, is now below high water mark" (Note however that the first edition OS 6" sites this well within the present town).


The site of this castle lies in a private garden at NO 4567 2907. There are no traces of any foundations to be seen and no indications of an alternative site were seen in the vicinity. (RCAHMS would appear to be erroneous[in their location]).

Visited by OS (WDJ) 2 June 1964


Field Visit (10 August 1927)

Castle, Tayport.

“An old castle, in which there are several vaults quite entire." Stat. Acct., viii, p. 467. The site, said to be nearly opposite the gas-works, is now below high-water mark.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 10 August 1927.

Note (28 August 2015)

The site of the castle was misidentified by RCAHMS during the 1927 field visit (RCAHMS 1933) as being located near the gasworks at NO 4609 2864. Documentary evidence suggests that its location is that identified by the Ordnance Survey at NO 4566 2909.

Information from RCAHMS (SH, LMcC) 28 Aug 2015


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