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Carden Tower

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Carden Tower

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Cardenden

Canmore ID 52960

Site Number NT29SW 1

NGR NT 2268 9374

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Kirkcaldy And Dysart
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Kirkcaldy
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NT29SW 1 2268 9374.

(NT 2268 9374) Carden Tower (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6"map, (1943)

Carden Tower. All that remains of this tower is a right-angled fragment of walling standing on the precipitous right bank of the Gelly Burn overlooking Cardenden, one mile south east of Cardenden Station. The building has been a small 16th century house, probably oblong on plan and containing at least three storeys, the lowest of which may have been vaulted. The tower has been 13 1/2 feet wide internally, but its length is indeterminate. The masonry has been repointed within recent years.

RCAHMS 1933.

The remains of Carden Tower are very fragmentary and comprise the SW angle only, as described by RCAHMS.

Visited by OS (A C) 13 March 1959.

At the beginning of 1988 all that was visible of the Tower were two walls. The threat of the total destruction of the site either by road works or by open-cast, prompted the Local History Group to start clearing and investigating the site prior to fencing it off.

A Hutchison 1988.

Work continued at the ruins of Carden Tower. Foundations of the ground floor levels have been uncovered, revealing traces of a fireplace, entrance, dividing wall and the lower courses of the vaulted roof on the west wall. No floor levels have been recovered. All the surviving wall remains have now been uncovered and are ready for repointing. The site has been fenced.

Sponsors: Workers Educational Association, Corrie Centre Local History Group, Fife Archaelogical Index.

E Proudfoot and A Hutcheson 1989.

Nearly half of the remains of the tower has been repointed. The remaining half where many of the facing stones have been robbed may be tackled in spring 1991.

A Hutcheson 1990.

Completion of the first CSA Adopt-a-Monument scheme involved limited excavations. These exposed the layout of what is now understood to be an L-plan tower house dating to the 16th century. Excavations were concentrated in the entrance and service wing, where a 1m diameter well was discovered. The upper part of the well comprised three courses of well laid, dressed masonry, below which the well was cut through bed rock. The well was excavated to a depth in excess of 2m before it became unsafe to progress any further. The top of the well was surrounded by an apron of partly dressed stones set in beaten earth floor levels. This was meant as a soak away for splashed water. The well produced some of the best architectural fragments from the tower house, including chamfered jamb stones, two parts of the newal post of

a spiral stair, and both slate and stone roof tiles, some pierced. The well had been infilled with demolition material during the abandonment of the castle shortly after 1700. This has now been conserved as one of the historic features of the site.

P Yeoman 1992.


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