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Edinburgh, Barnbougle Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Edinburgh, Barnbougle Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Dalmeny Estates

Canmore ID 50443

Site Number NT17NE 6

NGR NT 16869 78526

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 Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Dalmeny
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT17NE 6.01 168 785 Garden

NT17NE 25 16824 78464 Obelisk Sundial

NT17NE 6.02 16847 78449 Horizontal Sundial

(NT 1686 7852) Barnbougle Castle (NR) (restored)

OS 6" map (1968)

Barnbougle Castle, a plain 17th century building, was ruinous prior to 1880, when it was restored, part of the N side being incorporated in the new structure.

RCAHMS 1929; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892

Barnbougle Castle, at present occupied, has no features of architectural importance; the oldest portions are the NE corner and the lower part of the N wall.

Visited by OS (JD) 9 March 1955

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (BS) 11 December 1975.

This Castle was originally built in the 17th century and was rebuilt in 1881. It is located on the coast edge on rocky promontory within Dalmeny House estate. There are no apparent changes to the NMRS description (1975).

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 17th February 1996.

Architecture Notes

See also: Barnbougle Castle, Garden NT17NE 6.01

Barnbougle Castle, Sundial NT17NE 25

OWNER: Earl of Rosebery

ARCHITECT: Wardrop & Reid - restoration c.1880

Robert Adam - proposed large scale castellated

addition, not carried out 1774

Sydney Mitchell & Wilson 1889 and 1904

Robert Burn - additions 1788


Scottish Record Office

Description of a visit.

1778 GD 126/Box 30


Standing Building Recording (July 2018)

Addyman Archaeology undertook Historic Building Recording at Barnbougle Castle, South Queensferry as part of a programme of works to restore the castle. The Castle is a Category A Listed Building. The first house at Barnbougle was built in the 13th century. The present castle was originally built in the 17th century and was rebuilt in 1881 by the 5th Earl of Rosebery following an accidental explosion where it was partly blown up.

The Historic Building Recording was undertaken in July 2018 and focussed on those areas subject to proposed alterations, including areas of the ground, first and second floors; a full photographic record was also made of the cellar, where parts of the 13th century castle wall survive. Evidence for at least three phases of construction was recorded in the Furnace Room of the cellar, which may date to the 13th century. The north wall of this cellar is rock-cut, with later rebuilding and blocking in stone and the 19th century cellar vaulting in brick.

Information from Elizabeth Jones and Antoine Ruchonnet (Addyman Archaeology) August 2018. OASIS ID: addymana1-326827

Watching Brief (May 2018 - July 2018)

Addyman Archaeology undertook archaeological monitoring at Barnbougle Castle between May and July 2018. The work comprised a series of monitoring visits to inspect excavated trenches. Two trenches were excavated across the Castle grounds on the terrace and the landscaped gardens to the south. The topsoil generally contained mortar and occasional rubble, presumably derived from demolition of the 17th century castle. A drain and two linear features appear to have been associated with the original building and a late 19th century ceramic sewer drain was partly reused to run the future sewer line from the Castle to the new septic tank to the south-east. The Castle is built directly over the bedrock, which has been terraced in some places, although it was unclear as to whether this was undertaken during the original 13th century construction or later rebuildings.

Information from Elizabeth Jones and Antoine Ruchonnet (Addyman Archaeology) August 2018. OASIS ID: addymana1-326827


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