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Woodrae, Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Woodrae, Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Woodwray

Canmore ID 34844

Site Number NO55NW 6

NGR NO 5185 5663

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NO55NW 6.00 NO 5185 5663 and NO 51716 56649

NO55NW 6.01 NO 5185 5663 Pictish Cross-Slabs

NO55NW 6.02 NO 51716 56649 Doocot

(NO 5185 5663) Woodrae Castle (NR) (site of)

(NO 5171 5664) Dovecot (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1970)


Field Visit (20 August 1958)

The remains of Woodrae, Woodray, or Woodwray Castle were cleared away in 1819 when two sculptured cross-slabs with symbols were recovered from the foundation.

One of the slabs was lost by 1854, but the other was presented to Sir Walter Scott and is now in National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) presented by Lt Col Maxwell-Scott of Abbotsford in 1924 (Accession no. IB 202).

It is an upright cross-slab 5'9" high by 3'4" at base tapering to 2'9" at the top by 5" thick. The front bears the cross with interlacing and beasts. The back, divided into two panels, bears symbols, horsemen etc. (This slab is so like those from Aberlemno (NO 522 555) only 1/2 mile away, that it must have come from there.) It had apparently been used as a slab for the kitchen floor.

No trace of the castle remains, its site being rough pasture.

The dovecot has been a typical late 17th to 18th century lean-to with crow steps. The walls are intact but it is unroofed.

A Jervise 1859; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1924; Visited by OS (JLD) 20 August 1958.

Note (1983)

Woodrae Castle, Aberlemno NO 518 566 NO55NW 6

Of the two Pictish cross-slabs discovered when Woodrae Castle was demolished about 1819, only one, a Class II stone, now survives (NMAS IB 202).


(Jervise 1857a, 194; Allen and Anderson 1903, iii, 242-5; PSAS, Iv iii 1923-4, 100).

Note (1984)

Woodwrae Castle NO 578 566 NO55NW 6

The foundations of Woodwrae Castle were removed about 1819; two Pictish cross-slabs were found amongst the remains.

RCAHMS 1984.

(Jervise 1857a, 194; Jervise 1882, 210-11; RCAHMS 1983, p. 22, no. 156).


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