FOWLIS CASTLE (Ref:13619)
This building is in the Angus Council and the
Fowlis Easter Parish.
It is a category B building and was listed on 11/06/1971.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NO 3215 3333.
Circa 1640; N wing Hugh Robertson, 1862, further slightly later pentice-roofed extension to N; upper parts of stair tower and outshot chimney restored circa 1862. 3-storey and attic, rectangular-plan tower house with conically-roofed stair tower and massive offset outshot chimney, formerly part of larger castle, made T-plan by 2-storey and attic N wing. Rubble, irregular quoins, chamfered ashlar margins to original building, stugged dressings to N wing, slate roof. Multi-pane sash and case and top-hopper windows, some with out of character uPVC glazing; cream brick dormers to S, tile hung dormers to N; cavetto eaves course to original building; crowstepped gables with stacks and beak skewputts (masks to E gable), shouldered stacks to N and S of original building.S ELEVATION: stair tower advanced to centre left, door to left return, 3 small and 1 larger (later) stair windows, corbelled eaves course; chimney adjoined to right, shouldered in 3 stages to wallhead with shouldered stack above; window to ground, 1st and 2nd floor far left (uPVC to upper floors), dormer; small blocked opening to ground floor far right, window to 1st and 2nd floor (uPVC), dormer. W ELEVATION: original gable to right, window to ground floor with date panel (Sir PKM 1862) above lintel, window to 1s and 2nd floor (uPVC), small window to roof space; exposed area of left return elevation, partially blocked window or door to 1st floor, small window to 2nd floor, blocked window or door to centre of 2nd floor, wallhead stack, half-piended dormer; 1862 addition recessed to left, 2 windows to ground floor (uPVC), 2 windows to 1st, half-piended dormer, pentice-roofed entrance porch to right re-entrant with door, window, coped skew, mask skewputt; window to slightly later bay to far left. N ELEVATION: single storey, pentice-roofed former cellars, door to centre left, door blocked to window to left, 3 similar to right, gable to centre with cross motif and coped skews. E ELEVATION: original gable to left, door and 2 windows with security bars to ground floor, window to 1st and 2nd floor (uPVC), window to roof space; exposed area of right return elevation, part of blocked door to ground floor; 1862 addition recessed to right, door (out-of-character alloy) to centre left, stair window to left, window to ground and 1st floor right (uPVC); window to slightly later bay to far right. INTERIOR: ground floor, massive segmental-arched fireplace with oven opening, original ceiling corbels, chamfered doorway to stairs, evidence of earlier gable to N wall; 1st and 2nd floors totally modernised; attic, unpartitioned space; 1862 addition, 19th century chimneypieces, some with original insets.
According to MacGibbon and Ross, the present building was formerly dated 1640, the datestone (by 1892) having been 'built into a modenr house' (not identified). The segmental moulding built into the east gable of the former smithy nearby is claimed to have been a dormerhead from the castle. An illustration in Stuart (1865) shows a crowstepped gable slightly advanced on the north elevation; Stuart also refers to a plan dated 1696 from which he describes the castle as a quadrangular-plan structure, the present building forming the north west corner known as the Lady's Tower. Fowlis was in the Gray family from the 14th century, the surviving building being built by Andrew, 8th Lord Gray (1640?). The
estate was sold to Sir William Murray of Ochtertyre in 1667-9, and the castle occupied by the Murrays until the new Ochtertyre House was built in the 1780s; by the 19th century the castle was run down and
Sir Patrick Keith Murray repaired and extended it in 1862 for estate workers. The plans for the 1862 addition do not show the cellars or entrance porch, the original staircase has also been altered. The row
of 19th century cottages uncluding a workshop, the well to the north and the outbuildings to the east should all be regarded as falling within the curtilage of Fowlis Castle.
A H Millar, THE HISTORICAL CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF SCOTLAND;
PERTHSHIRE AND FORFARSHIRE (1890); David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross,
THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1892),
vol.V, pp273-5; Scottish History Society, vol.55, THE OCHTERTYRE
HOUSE BOOK OF ACCOMPS 1737-9 (1907); James Stuart, HISTORICAL
SKETCHES OF THE CHURCH AND PARISH OF FOWLIS EASTER (1865);
drawings for addition (photocopy), SRO, RHP 2169.5; Andrew Jervise, EPITAPHS AND INSCRIPTIONS (1879), vol.II, pp71-2.
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