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Scheduled Monument

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Old Dundas Castle, castle, sundial and dovecotReference: SM1909

Status: Designated


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  • Category: N/A
  • Date Added: 25/09/1935
  • Last Date Amended: 03/03/1999
  • Type: Secular: castle; hospital, hospice; sundial


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Parish: Dalmeny

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 117 766
  • Coordinates311700, 676600


The monument comprises the following related elements: 1. the well-preserved remains of a 15th-century tower-house with 19th-century alterations 2. an adjacent 17th-century fountain and sundial 3. an 18th-century dovecot.

1. The tower-house which adjoins the present mansion house (built in 1818) originally comprised a particularly fine, 4-storeyed building erected in the early decades of the 15th century. To this was added a second wing, projecting from the NW angle. The rubble walls are surmounted by a crenellated parapet, added in the 16th century, and the whole structure remains roofed. Internally, the building has been much altered as a result of its conversion to a brewery in the early 19th century.

2. The combined fountain and sundial which now stands to the E of the mansion house is of early 17th-century date. A flight of ten steps leads up to the dial which is supported on an octagonal shaft adorned with winged figures. The whole is richly ornamented; the sundial bearing the initials of Sir Walter Dundas for whom it was created in 1623, and those of his wife Dame Ann Monteith.

3. The 18th-century dovecot consists of a rubble-built circular tower with six windows and a W-facing doorway with stone panel infill into which an iron hatch doorway has been inserted: all with ashlar surrounds. A lead-topped, part-slated glover sits a-top a slated roof. Internally, the pole of the potence survives in situ, as do the stone nesting boxes.

The monument was first scheduled in 1935 when only the tower house and the combined fountain/sundial were thus designated. The dovecot, an integral part of the estate was not included. The present rescheduling rectifies this.

This scheduling consists of three separate areas defined as follows:

1. A square measuring 20m N-S by 20m E-W which corresponds to the tower house.

2. A circle of 5m diameter, centred on the fountain/sundial, to include the sundial and an area around it to ensure its continued protection.

3. A circle of 20m diameter, centred on the dovecot, to include the dovecot and an area around it to ensure its continued protection.

All areas are marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

About Designations

Scheduled Monuments

We compile, maintain and publish a Schedule (a list) of monuments of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Scheduling is the process of adding monuments to this list and affording them statutory protection. The aim of scheduling is to preserve sites and monuments as far as possible in the form in which they have come down to us today. Once a monument is scheduled, the prior written consent of ourselves is required for most works including repairs.

The information provided gives an indication of the cultural significance of a scheduled monument. The information is current to the date of designation or when last amended. This record is not intended to be a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s) and the format of records has changed over time. Earlier, un-amended records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

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