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Dunrobin Castle

Castle, Country House, War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Dunrobin Castle

Classification Castle, Country House, War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Dunrobin School; St John's Well; Dunrobin Castle Policies; Ww1 Hospital War Memorial Plaque

Canmore ID 6512

Site Number NC80SE 1

NGR NC 85049 00820

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Golspie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC80SE 1.00 85049 00820

(NC 8505 0082) Dunrobin Castle (NAT)

OS 6" map, (1964).

Policies extend onto map sheet NC80SW.

NC80SE 1.01 NC 851 007 Formal Garden

NC80SE 1.02 NC 8507 0063 Estate Cottages

NC80SE 1.03 NC 8515 0065 Gate Piers

NC80SE 1.04 NC 8511 0103 Laundry

NC80SE 1.05 NC 85 01 Parkland

NC80SE 1.06 NC 85485 01012 Sutherland Burial Place

NC80SE 1.07 NC 8511 0082 Terraced garden

NC80SE 1.08 NC 8504 0086 Visitors' Car Park

NC80SE 1.09 85224 00739 Westminster Gate

NC80SE 41 NC 85180 00774 Walled Garden

NC80SE 46 NC 85230 00883 Summer House / Museum

NC80SE 48 NC 86472 01641 Big Barns

See also:

NC80SW 27 NC 84966 01273 (private) Railway Station

NC80SW 28 NC 84930 00834 Ice House

NC80SW 30 NC 84351 00639 Flagstaff Lodge

NC80SW 35 NC 84964 00718 Dovecot

NC80SW 57.00 NC 84756 01410 Dunrobin Mains and associated buildings.

NC80SW 58 NC 8499 0093 Entrance Driveway

NC80SW 59 NC 8493 0126 Gates

NC80SW 60 NC 84349 00654 Gate Turrets at Flagstaff Lodge

NC80SW 61 NC 8499 0062 Kitchen Garden

NC80SW 62 NC 84694 00732 Harriet Duchess of Sutherland Memorial

NC80SW 63 NC 84924 01283 2nd Duke of Sutherland Monument

NC80SW 64 NC 84943 01236 Eastern North Lodge

NC80SW 71 NC 83957 00194 Tower Lodge

NC80SW 73 NC 84856 01563 Sportsman's Walk Cottage

NC80SW 101 NC 84928 01229 Western North Lodge

For Monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland (on Beinn a' Bhragaidh, at NC 81441 0091), see NC80SW 43.

Dunrobin Castle, the principle seat of the Sutherland family since the 12th century, consists of a keep at the NE angle built about 1401 and vaulted on each floor - an unusual feature.

In the 17th century a large house on the plan of a central courtyard was erected to the SW of the keep and connected to it with a turnpike-stair tower. These wings were altered and added to in 1785 and in 1845-50 a huge mansion was built on the NE side.

The whole was restored early in the 20th century and is in use as a school.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909; N Tranter 1962-70.

Dubrobin Castle (name verified) is a large and outstanding mansion still occupied and as described by previous authorities.

Externally it appears to be 18/19th century with little of the 17th century work visible, the tower house being entirely enclosed by later work. There is no evidence of any structure ante-dating the tower house.

Visited by OS (E G C) 4 April 1962 and (J M) 19 January 1976.

(NC 8505 0081) St John's Well (NR)

OS 6" map, Sutherland, 1st ed., (1873)

St John's Well is a very deep pump well in the courtyard of the ancient portion of the castle. No information regarding the origin of the name can be found.

OS Name Book 1873.

Architecture Notes

See NMRS Lorimer Collection for full range of plans.

OWNER: The Duke of Sutherland

ARCHITECT: Sir Charles Barry-North front of Dunrobin Castle with W Leslie of Aberdeen 1844-1848

Sir Robert Lorimer-large alterations after fire in 1915

"J.M."-improvements c. 1785 Probably John McLeran (See Tarbat House)

Built for Lord Strathnaver 1732. Brick addition when building converted to museum.


NMRS Photographic survey of drawings for Dunrobin Castle including; plans attributed to Alexander McGill 1720, John Adam 1776 and James McLeran c. 1785 and a portfolio of designs for additions by Charles Barry drawn by Peter Keir 1845.

Copied c. 1965 Inventory 120


Country Life, August 18th 1966 pp.395-6

Scottish Country Life, Vol VI, No 9, pp.367-70, Sept 1919

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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