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Cleish Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Cleish Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 49644

Site Number NT09NE 6

NGR NT 08240 97974

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Cleish
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Kinross-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT09NE 6 08240 97974.

(NT 0823 9796) Cleish Castle (NR)

OS 6" map, (1959).

Cleish Castle, dating from the 16th century, is L-shaped on plan, the main block measuring 40 1/2ft by 29 1/2ft, and the wing, 20 1/2ft by 28 1/4ft. There was a courtyard to the S; its arched gateway, now filled in, may be seen incorporated in a modern outbuilding. The house is five storeys high, the two lowest storeys possibly being earlier than the remainder as their external angles are rounded off. The masonry is ashlar and the gables crow- stepped. A dormer pediment, dated 1600, has been inserted on the upper part of the stair-turret; the upper part of the building may be ascribed to this date.

Ruinous before 1840, Cleish Castle was restored about that date and has been inhabited since then.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 1929; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887.

Cleish Castle is as described by the previous authorities.

Visited by OS(RD) 11 December 1967.

Cleish Castle is a fine example of a 16th century tower house further extended and heightened in the 17th century and then baronialised in the mid-19th century before it was restored in the early 1920's. The castle's restoration was completed in 1972.

Information from Fife Herald News 25 July 1979.

Restored for a single household by Michael Spens, 1972. Saltire Award 1973. Civic Trust Architectural Heritage Year Award 1995.

H R Rutherford 1998

Architecture Notes


Architect: John Lessels remodelled c. 1870

J G Crace - design for a ceiling


Photographic Survey (18 March 1960)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Work in March 1960.

Watching Brief (January 2001)

NT 0823 9796 During January 2001 a watching brief was undertaken during ground reduction for an extension at Cleish Castle. The watching brief revealed four phases of landscaping activity within made-up ground over natural subsoil. The made-up ground contained cut features backfilled with redeposited natural subsoil and a stone-filled drainage gully or soakaway. Three residual sherds of medieval pottery were found in redeposited soil. No further work was required.

Sponsor: Mr Simon Millar of Cleish Castle.

R Cachart 2001


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