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Affleck Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Affleck Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Auchenleck Castle

Canmore ID 33311

Site Number NO43NE 14

NGR NO 49402 38808

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/33311

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Monikie
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO43NE 14 4940 3880

For (adjacent) Affleck (House) and associated buildings, see NO43NE 60.00.

(NO 4940 3880) Affleck Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1926)

Affleck Castle is a fine example of a late 15th century tower-house on the L-plan. It contains four storeys and a garret; the walls are of coursed rubble. The ashlar corbelled parapet and angle turrets are of 16th c date, as are the crow-stepped gables and chimney stacks. Two square battlemented cap-houses surmount the building. There are gun-loops at ground level. The arched doorway is in the re-entrant angle.

The castle was the residence of the ancient family of Auchinleck or Affleck.

W D Simpson 1947; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887

Affleck Castle is as described. It is in good condition and unoccupied.

Visited by OS (JLD) 3 June 1958.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE:

Plans:

- William Kinloch, 28 Bayview Cres. Methil - working drawings

Activities

Antiquarian Observation (1857 - 1861)

Mason's marks from Scottish churches, abbeys and castles recorded between 1857 and 1861 on 29 drawings in the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Collection.

Aerial Photography (September 1970)

Oblique aerial photographs of Affleck Castle, Angus, taken by John Dewar in September 1970.

Publication Account (1987)

The tower-house known as Affieck Castle is situated on the gentle south-facing slope of the declining range of the Sidlaw Hills known as the Downie Hills. The house commanded views of the whole coastal plain from Dundee to Camoustie and looked over the Firth of Tay to Fife and St Andrews. It is recorded that before the house was surrounded by trees it was used as a landmark by mariners entering the Firth of Tay.

Affieck was the seat of the family of Auchinleck, or Affieck, of that Ilk. The lands were held in chief from the Crown for an annual rent of one silver penny. The house appears to date from the late 15th century and, in 1471, James III confrrmed a deed subscribed at Auchinleck on 16th March 1466 by David, Earl of Crawford. The first record of the existence of the tower-house is in 1501.

The accommodation provided in Affieck Castle is that normally found in a small medieval house: cellarage, common hall, lord's hall, solar and chapel. There is no kitchen and cooking must have been done in an outbuilding, possibly within the barmkin wall. The accommodation is provided in a tower of four storeys and an attic. It is described as an L-plan structure, although the secondary wing is very small and occupied by the principal staircase for most of its height There is a small mezzanine floor, entered from a mural stair from the lord's hall, above the second floor landing, and the chapel occupies this space on the third floor. '

The arched doorway is situated in the re-entrant angle. The cellars are ceiled with the floor of the common hall above. The common hall is vaulted, has three good-sized windows but lacks a fIreplace or any other feature to improve the level of comfort. Above this all the floors are of wood and the rooms are well appointed. The lord's hall has provision for a dais at the north end and behind this is a handsome fireplace. It is also provided with a latrine and a large wall press. The solar, on the third floor, is a room of exceptional distinction and of such excellent proportions that despite its small size it has few equals in Scotland. It has a good fIreplace, latrine, large mural closets which may have contained bunks, a wall press and a beautiful chapel situated behind a miniature chancel arch in the wing over the principal stair. The chapel is vaulted in fme ashlar and has an octagonal stoop corbelled out from the wall. The accommodation is completed by an attic over the solar and two caphouses, one over the chapel, the other over the secondary stair.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

References

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