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Cruivie Castle

Castle (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Cruivie Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 33271

Site Number NO42SW 4

NGR NO 41882 22895

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Logie (North East Fife)
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO42SW 4 41882 22895

(NO 4188 2289) Cruivie Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1959)

Cruivie Castle: as described, except that no indication of a ditch could be seen.

Visited by OS (DS) 23 October 1956 and (WDJ) 4 June 1970.

Architecture Notes

NO42SW 4 41882 22895

The remains of Cruivie Castle, which is of late 15th century date, are situated on a rock outcrop, standing about 20' above its immediate surroundings with indications of a ditch, or a quarry from which the stone to build the castle was taken. It is L-shaped on plan, and the walls, mainly large blocks of whin rubble, still stand over 20' high. The 'mansion' of Cruivie is mentioned in 1509, and the 'tower' of Cruivie occurs in 1539/40, when it was granted to Henry Ramsay by the King.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 1927; SDD List


Field Visit (27 May 1927)

Cruivie Castle.

The ruins of Cruivie stand beside the steading of South Straiton Farm. The site is an outcrop of rock, rising some 20 feet above the immediately surrounding levels. The enclosing hollow may indicate a ditch, or alternatively, the quarry from which the stone for the fabric was taken. The masonry is of unusual character for the locality, being mainly whin-rubble masonry in large blocks, brought to courses and built with pinnings. The building seems to date from the late 15th or early 16th century. It is L-shaped on plan, the main block lying north and south with the re-entrant angle opening to the north-east. The walls, though breached in places, still stand to a height of over 20 feet, but many of the dressings, which were of freestone, have been removed. Those that are left at the voids are chamfered at the arris.

The entrance has been at first-floor level opening directly into the main block near the southern end of its west wall, and access to the ground floor has been by a stair against the south wall. There is no direct communication between main block and wing at ground-floor level but a breach in the north wall may represent an external door. Both main block and wing were here ceiled in wood and each part comprised a single cellar.

On the first floor both parts were vaulted, and again each part comprised a single chamber, though it is possible that the southern end of the main block may have been partitioned off in timber to form the 'screens.' If so, the inner part of the main block would be the Hall, which would be lit from north and east, although it can have had no fireplace. The wall by which the wing is partitioned off contains a straight stair ascending to the upper floor, and at the foot of this stair there has been a door opening into the first-floor chamber of the wing, a room, measuring l4 ¼ by 10 ½ feet, with a garderobe in the south-east angle, venting externally, a fireplace in the north wall, and one window looking south. The second floor is ruinous, and its details cannot be determined.

In the arrangement of this building there are certain points to which attention may be directed :- the entrance is not placed in or near the re-entrant angle; on the ground floor there is no communication between main block and wing; the staircase resembles a stair at Tulliallan Castle [NS98NW 5]in position and character.

HISTORICAL NOTE. - In 1509 Sir James Sandilands of Calder, Midlothian, granted to his uncle, James Sandilands, his half of the lands of Cruivie "with the mansion” (1), and James Sandilands of "Cruvy" is on record in 1526 (2). The grandfather of Sir James had married the heiress of John Kinloch of Cruivie and died before 1505. But in 1539/40 the King granted to Henry Ramsay, son and heir of David Ramsay of Colluthie, half of the lands and barony of Cruivie with the tower, &c (3). There was another division later when Margaret Carnegie, one of the two heiresses of Elizabeth Ramsay of Colluthie, sold in February 1582/3 one half of her half of the lands and barony with the tower to David Carnegie of Colluthie, her father (4). This David Carnegie was the father of the first Earl of Southesk

RCAHMS 1933, visited 27 May 1927.

(1) Reg. Mag. Sig., s.a., No. 3363. (2) Ibid., s.a., No. 354. (3) Ibid., s.a., No. 2114. (4) Ibid., s.a., No. 516.


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