<< Return to Search


  • Index Number

  • Parish

  • NGR 1

  • NGR 2

  • Council

  • Category

  • Legal Document
    [PDF, .38 MB]

Monimail, Cardinal Beaton's Tower


The monument consists of the remaining portions of a country residence of the bishops/archbishops of St Andrews. The monument was first scheduled in 1937 but the area protected was inadequate, excluding the other domestic ranges and the surviving courtyard tower. The present rescheduling rectifies this.

The main element is a four-storeyed chamber tower traditionally associated with Cardinal David Beaton, archbishop from 1539 to 1546. This tower evidently stood at the south-east corner of a courtyard originally defined by a substantial accommodation range on its south side and by a curtain wall on its east side, fragments of both of which are still embodied within the tower. Some distance to the north of the chamber tower is the truncated base of a mural tower which evidently formed part of the perimeter defences of the principal courtyard.

The chamber tower has been adapted on a number of occasions. The upper part is dated 1578 and was remodelled at a time when the estate had passed into the ownership of the Balfour family (to whom it had passed in 1564). In 1592 the estates passed to the Melville family, for whom the house was further adapted on a number of occasions. After the construction of Melville House to the south in 1692, much of the rest of the complex was demolished, leaving the chamber tower as an eye-catcher and prospect tower within the policies; an ice-house was built in its basement. The tower was later retained as a feature within the walled gardens of Melville House.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangle measuring 60m along its longer axis and 40m transversely, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. The top 30 centimetres of ground within the area is excluded from scheduling to allow for continued cultivation and maintenance.

National Importance

No information available.

Other Information

No information available.
<< Return to Search