Aberdeenshire HER - NO19SE0002 - BRAEMAR CASTLE

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNO19SE0002
NRHE Card No.NO19SE4
NRHE Numlink 29748
HES LB No. 36
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Castle and designed landscape (NO19SE0036). Braemar Castle is a tall five-storeyed turreted house of the L-plan with a large round stair tower in the re-entrant angle and angle-turrets on the corners. Built in the early 17th century (1628) for the 7th Earl of Mar as a strategic stronghold and hunting lodge, it was attacked by John Farquharson (of the neighbouring estate) and extensively damaged by fire in 1689. Attempts to repair it are recorded in 1689 and 1715 but it remained a relative ruin until 1748. It was bought in 1724 by the Earl of Mar's relatives, Lord Dun and Lord Grange, and in 1732 was sold to the Farquharsons. In 1748 it was leased and garrisoned by the Government for use as a barracks, and a defensive military wall similar to that at Corgarff Castle (NJ20NE0001) was built. Instead of the wall being oblong, as at Corgarff, it is practically a square with a salient in the centre of each face. At that time the original conical roofed turrets were heightened and given crenellations. Only in 1832 did the Farquharsons make it into a family home. The castle was restored in the mid 19th century. The castle has a variety of fenestration, some windows retaining 17th century iron grilles. The interior maintains a largely extant floor plan of the 18th century garrison on the lower floors and the 19th century home on the upper floors. There is a yett gate at the main door. A watching brief was undertaken by Murray Archaeology Services in 2007 when two service trenches were excavated. A cistern or well was revealed in the area between the castle and the curtain wall. Its internal diameter was 1.6-1.65m (it was not completely circular). It was covered by a Victorian building so had gone out of use prior to the construction of this building. It may therefore be associated with the military use of the castle in 1748. A standing buildings survey was carried out by MAS in February 2009 to assess the courtyard and to establish the date of two chimneys built against the interior elevation of the courtyard wall and to record them and any features revealed on newly exposed sections of the walls of the castle and curtain wall. Both chimneys post-date the curtain wall, and appear to be part of the Victorian infill between the castle and the curtain wall. In the courtyard, an early cobbled surface was revealed below the 'tar' layer which seems to have been laid as a sub-floor to the Victorian rooms. A desk based assessment and walkover survey of the castle environs was carried out by MAS in 2013 as part of a wider landscape survey. Although of natural origin, the mound on which the castle stands has been suggested as a possible motte although there is no reported or documentary evidence of a medieval motte.
Last Update15/05/2020
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation03/09/1987

Easting: 315605.538417499, Northing: 792376.684957226

Google Map for NO19SE0002

National Grid Reference: NO 1560 9237

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2013 Survey
2009 Building Recording

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
72013 Survey  MAS   
102007 2C & H MurrayMASAAS 

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
   BRONZE SWORD Stray Find Personal Possession  


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability