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Monument
Information

  • Index Number

    870
  • Parish

    Dunino
  • NGR 1

    NO521091
  • NGR 2

  • Council

    FIFE
  • Category

    Secular
  • Legal Document
    [PDF, .33 MB]

Pittarthie Castle

Description

The monument consists of a defensible house of staggered L-shaped plan and of largely domestic appearance, the initial construction of which probably dates from around the time of a royal grant of the lands to Andrew Logan of Easter Granton in 1598. It continued in occupation into the eighteenth century, by which time it was in the possession of a branch of the Bruce family.

The house, which is built of coursed rubble, rises through three principal storeys; there was presumably also a garret within the roof space, which was set within crow-stepped gables. It was entered at the base of a spacious stair turret in the re-entrant angle between the main block and a salient chamber wing. The main block is aligned from east to west, with the chamber wing at its south-western angle. The latter projects to the west of the main block, and to its rear, in the re-entrant angle with the main block, is a small projection for service accommodation and closets.

The ground floor, which was barrel-vaulted, contained a kitchen and storerooms. The hall, a servery area and the principle chamber occupied the first floor; the hall was evidently secondarily subdivided, with a corbelled stair off the north flank giving access to the chambers in the second floor and garret. There was a smaller chamber at the head of the stair turret, accessed from a corbelled-out stair. The principal rooms are well supplied with fireplaces and latrines.

It is likely that the house was once associated with ranges of ancillary buildings within one or more associated courtyards, and there would almost certainly have been enclosed gardens. Although little trace now remains of these courtyards and gardens, other than possibly in the layout of some of the existing field divisions around the tower, the area protected by scheduling is being extended to cover those believed to have been in the immediate vicinity of the tower.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular rectangle on plan, with maximum dimensions of 42m from east to west and 42m from north to south.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a particularly fine and well preserved example of an early modern defensible house that clearly illustrates one of the ways in which the requirement to accommodate rooms of differing scale, degrees of accessibility and qualities of finish might be contrived within an architectural framework that could also lend itself to a minimal level of defensibility. While the highly attractive openness of its location, as now seen, is unlikely to reflect the intentions of its first builders, it has the advantage that the archaeological evidence for the 'yards' that would once have been associated with it are probably well preserved.

Other Information

RCAHMS records the monument as NO50NW 1.

References:
REGISTER OF THE GREAT SEAL Vol. 6, No. 720, 235.

MacGibbon D and Ross T 1887, THE CASTELLEATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 2, Edinburgh, 562-3.

RCAHMS 1933, ELEVENTH REPORT WITH INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTIES OF FIFE, KINROSS, AND CLACKMANNAN, Edinburgh: HMSO, 128-9.

Gifford J 1988, THE BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND, FIFE, London, 346.

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