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  • Index Number

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  • NGR

    NO 883 871
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Castle of Cowie


This monument consists of the remains of a medieval castle. The only remains of the castle visible today consist of a length of masonry which formed the plinth of a wall cutting across the promontory.

The promontory is close to the fine medieval chapel at Cowie and commands a view down the coast to Dunnottar. A later trench cuts into part of the promontory showing that it has a considerable build up of soils. The site is likely therefore to be archaeologically highly sensitive.

Cowie Castle is thought to have been a royal hunting lodge.

Tradition states that James IV prayed at the neighbouring chapel and Cowie may have played a role as a royal lodging house on journeys which involved Stonehaven harbour. Although now isolated, it is likely that the medieval burgh of Cowie was adjacent to the castle.

The site is irregular on plan being defined to the NW by the field boundary and on the other sides by the foot of the slope of the promontory. It measures approximately 50m N-S by 70m and is marked in red on the accompanying map.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance as the site of a medieval castle. The archaeology of the site has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of the form and use of buildings of this type.

Other Information

RCAHMS records the monument as NO 88 NE 21.

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