Aberdeenshire HER - NJ71SW0139 - CASTLE FRASER

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ71SW0139
NRHE Card No.NJ71SW6
NRHE Numlink 18722
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Remains of a 17th to 19th century designed landscape of 369 acres. It extends north to the Muchalls Burn, south to the woodland at the South Lodge, west to the Dunecht to Kemnay road, and east to the woodland at Walkend. 26 acres surrounding the castle are now maintained by the NTS. The parkland to the north of the stable block is enclosed by a ha-ha and the parkland was originally laid out in its present informal design in the latter years of the 18th century for Miss Elyza Fraser. An improvement plan by Thomas White was commissioned in 1794, including the Broad Walk (an avenue originally of sycamores, now sycamore and some ash) which still extends to the north and a now removed avenue which extended south of the castle. Over eighty percent of the woodlands have had to be replanted since the gale of 1953 when a great many old trees, particularly Beech, were lost. The pond to the north-east of the stable block is that shown on the plan of 1788. To the east of the castle, on land still inclined to be boggy, was an ornamental serpentine lake or 'canal' which has been removed before 1860. Driveways sweep through the parkland on all four compass points. The walled garden was formerly to the east of the castle, but this reverted to parkland when the present walled garden of circa 1846 was built by White. This is shown on the 1st edition OS map of 1869 as, typically, four equal areas separated by cross-paths within the rectangular enclosure. The garden was cultivated up to 1974 when it was sown out in grass. Since its acquisition by the NTS, it has been redesigned by the Trust's gardens adviser, Eric Robson. The old layout can, however, still be seen though the existing grass cover.The sundial which is enclosed by a rose bower is a new central feature which was formerly a well. Specimen trees and shrubs have established themselves on the lawns of the walled garden. A watching brief was carried out by MAS in November 2017 and January 2018 during a programme of drainage works around the outside of the castle and following a section of drive to the southeast. South of the castle this recorded a possible pathway in line with the central south doorway, and finds indicative of rubbish spreading in the later 18th century which would accord with a 1788/9 estate map which shows this are as semi-cultivated and named 'Cherry Yard'.
Last Update24/02/2022
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation 

Google Map for NJ71SW0139

National Grid Reference: NJ 7290 1272

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2017 Watching-Brief mas1-335096
2018 Watching-Brief mas1-335096

Excavations and Surveys

Artefact and Ecofact


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

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