DUNDAS CASTLE KEEP (Ref:45474)
This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 22/02/1971.
Group Items: See notes,
Group Cat: A,
Map Ref: NT 1179 7670.
Circa 1416. 4-storey L-plan tower house. Random rubble with long and short quoins, some harl pointing. Corbelled and crenellated ashlar parapet of 16th century, with bartizans on external angles; new wing added to NW angle after 1424 license, producing stepped T-plan frontage to south and L-plan frontage to N. Chamfered arrises to external angles of new wing, from 2nd floor upwards.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-bay comprising regular fenestration at 1st and 2nd floors of advanced central bay; regular fenestration at 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors at recessed bay to right, and irregular fenestration at 2nd and 3rd floors at recessed bay to left. Timber door, with iron yett, to re-entrant angle at right. Later addition at ground floor to left, used as carriage house.
W ELEVATION: 2-bay comprising Tudor-arched window at ground floor with ashlar sandstone dressings, at advanced bay to left; irregular fenestration to 1st and 2nd floors at recessed bay to right; blank wall at ground floor to right with Tudor arch linking with stable court (see separate listing).
N ELEVATION: 3-bay comprising irregular fenestration at 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of advanced bay to right; irregular fenestration at ground, 1st and 2nd floors of bays to left. Later addition at NW angle, linking keep with mansion (see separate listing), with single storey lean-to building.
Slit windows, some enlarged and more regular windows; small-pane timber in sash and case and casement/fixed. Platform roof with single look-out turret; graded grey slate roof to water tank; irregularly spaced water-spouts at top of corbel members. Dundas shields to outer faces of bartizans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: mainly barrel-vaulted, with large fireplaces. Fireplace in 1st floor hall with angle supports resisting arch-thrusts. Greatly altered after circa 1820 when used as distillery; detached 17th century mansion removed and extensive enclosing curtain walls built, at least partly on line of previous walls.
Scheduled Monument. A Group with Dundas Castle, including Blue Acre, Boat House, Brown Acre, Castleloch, Castle Grove, Dovecot, Dundas Loch Bridge, Dundas Mains, Fountain Sundial, Ice House, Lilac Cottage, North Lodge, Rose Cottage, South Lodge and Walled Garden (see separate listings).
The family of Dundas of that Ilk owned the barony of Dundas Castle from the beginning of the 12th century to the late 19th century. The diamond shape of the later addition to the NW corner of the keep is most probably due to the steep inclination of the land, as the keep was built on the summit of a hill. The Tudor arched window to the west elevation of the keep seems almost ecclesiastical in design, and suggests that the keep may have contained a chapel for Dundas family private worship.
Groome, ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND. VOL. II. (Edinburgh, 1882), p412; Small, MANSIONS AND CASTLES OF THE LOTHIANS. VOL. I. (William Paterson, 1883); McGibbon and Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND. VOL. I (David Douglas, 1887-92/The Mercat Press, 1971), pp328-335; INVENTORY FOR MIDLOTHIAN AND WEST LOTHIAN (The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland, 1929), pp203-206; McWilliam, EDINBURGH, EXCEPT LOTHIAN (Penguin, 1978), pp51, 191, 192.
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