Aberdeenshire HER - NJ31SE0001 - DOUNE OF INVERNOCHTY

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ31SE0001
NameDOUNE OF INVERNOCHTY
NRHE Card No.NJ31SE1
NRHE Numlink 16762
HES SM No. 94
HES LB No.
Site Form Earthwork
Site Condition Incomplete
Details Remains of motte and bailey castle dating to the late 12/13th century, the 'capital messuage' of Strathdon, one of the feudal lordships of the province of Mar. It appears to be sole surviving Scottish example of a motte with Norman stonework on its summit. The motte is oval in plan, measuring 76m by 36.6m and standing 18.3m high, surrounded by a ditch and bank. The counterscarp bank is enlarged on the west to form a crescentic platform, probably a bailey. A narrow bank round this is probably a palisade bank. A large bank to the north and west retained small lake to feed ditch, but this was drained in 1823. Excavation in 1855 by Alexander Walker revealed the piling of a drawbridge and a building supposed to have been a gatehouse. Further excavation in 1935 by the owner, F. L. Wallace, revealed a stone curtain wall around the summit of the motte, with an original entrance in the south. The gap in the north is modern. The remains of stone building on summit are almost certainly remains of a large Norman chapel where a Norman stoup was found. A circular limekiln is set into the outer bank in the northeast at NJ 3507 1294. A watching brief was maintained, to the north of the Doune, while a number of tree stumps were removed for landscaping and creation of a footpath. Work revealed no features apart from a stretch of walling constructed of rough boulders of an unknown date and function. Only finds were 19th and 20th century pottery. Site visit as part of a survey of limekilns of Upper Donside (2002-3) noted that the kiln survives as a grass covered mound with the remains of the lower structure under turf and grass. The draw hole has collapsed and the lintels are missing. The bowl is infilled with collapsed stonework and there is a spread of stones down the slope.
Last Update31/05/2022
Updated Bybmann
Compiler 
Date of Compilation25/05/1989

Google Map for NJ31SE0001

National Grid Reference: NJ 3514 1297



Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
1855 Excavation
1935 Excavation
2004 Excavation
2002 Field Observation

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
 1855  A WALKER   
 1935  SIMPSON   
62004 3Stuart FarrellSW  

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
01855 ANIMAL BONES Excavation  
00 IRONWORK Excavation  
00 MEDIEVAL POTTERY Excavation  
00 GOLD BROOCH Excavation  

Ecofact

Samples
Palynology
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
MOTTES  A100
BAILEYS  B100
WALLSCURTAINREMAINS OFC100
DITCHESDEFENSIVE D100
MOATS  E100
PALISADES SITE OFF100
BANKSEARTH G100
DRAW-BRIDGES REMAINS OFH100
GATE-HOUSES REMAINS OFI100
CHAPELS NORMANJ100
STOUPS NORMANK100
BROOCHESGOLD L100
POTTERY  M100
BONES ANIMALN100
KILNSLIMEREMAINS OFO100