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Scheduled Monument

You can download copies of legal documents. These are the documents that must be used to determine what is scheduled.

Castle of CowieReference: SM9742

Status: Designated


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  • Category: N/A
  • Date Added: 13/06/2001
  • Type: Secular: castle


  • Local Authority: Aberdeenshire
  • Parish: Fetteresso

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNO 883 871
  • Coordinates388300, 787100


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.

Statement of 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.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 88 NE 21.

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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