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Seafield Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Seafield Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 52771

Site Number NT28NE 5

NGR NT 27943 88529

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Kinghorn
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Kirkcaldy
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NT28NE 5 27943 88529

(NT 2794 8853) Seafield Tower (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1967)

Seafield Tower probably dates from the early 16th c, and is now a shell in bad repair. It is L-shaped on plan and stands free from the boundary walls. It comprises a main block 30 3/4' by 25 3/4' and a staircase wing 19 1/2' by 12 1/2'.

RCAHMS 1933.

Seafield Tower is as described by the RCAHMS. Apart from some building debris in the cliff face, there is no evidence of the enclosure to the W shown on the plan of 1774.

Visited by OS (A C) 27 February 1959.

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (S F S) 15 December 1975.

'Seafield Tower' + midden + modern structure of concrete bricks

Site recorded by Maritime Fife during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, Kincardine to Fife Ness 1996.


Field Visit (29 May 1925)

Seafield Tower.

Seafield Tower, built on a rock on the foreshore, beside a burn, a mile northward of Kinghorn, is now a mere shell. The rock has been cut in places to a vertical face, as much to provide building material as for protection, and is surmounted by the remains of a boundary wall, forming an enclosure which has a salient circular tower at the northernangle. The survey prepared in 1774 and reproduced in Fig. 310 shows the extent of the castle at that date, while Fig. 311 represents its present condition.

The tower itself stands free from the boundary walls and is L-shaped on plan, comprising a main block 30 ¾ by 25 ¾ feet and a wing 10 ½ by 12 ¾ feet, the latter being an addition to contain the staircase. Apparently the addition replaced a smaller stair-wing, the dimensions of which cannot now be ascertained. Its building blocked up the original entrance to the ground floor, and a new entrance had to be formed in the eastern wall. The masonry is rubble, very weather-worn but regularly coursed and heavily grouted; the only moulding noted is the chamfer. The present height of the tower is almost that of the original wall-head, but no trace is left of parapet or walk. The ground floor is vaulted and has had an entresol floor of wood inserted at the springing-level. The lower part has been subdivided. At its south-west corner the remains of a hatch through the vault can be traced, and a small fireplace at the same corner seems to have been inserted; the two narrow windows looking northward, which light the upper and lower part of the ground floor, are original. The first floor was a single chamber with a large fireplace in the north gable and windows to east and south, the latter provided with window seats in the deep embrasures. At the southern corners of the room are ruinous mural chambers, the western probably a garderobe, the eastern a lobby served by the original stair. Above are two upper floors, in which the arrangement has been roughly similar.

This tower probably dates from the early 16th century. It is in bad repair.

HISTORICAL NOTE. Sibbald refers to this house as "the ancient Seat of the Moutrays" (1). John "Multrare of Seyfield" is on record in 1514 (2), and John "Multray" of Seafield in 1543 (3).

RCAHMS 1933, 29 May 1925.

(1) History of Fife etc. (ed. 1803), p. 314. (2) Sheriff Court Book of Fife (S.H.S.), p. 6. (3) Laing Charters, No. 476.

Aerial Photography (21 January 2022)

HES Archaeological Survey undertook an aerial photographic survey of Seafield Tower on 21 January 2022 in response to a request from colleagues in the Planning, Consents and Advice team. The survey consisted of the capture of 39 oblique aerial photographs from a DJI Phantom 4 Pro UAV and 5 from a DJI Inspire 2 with a Zenmuse X7 camera, archived in both raw (DNG) and tiff formats.

Visited by HES Survey and Recording (GFG) 21 January 2022.


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