In April 2012, the SCA travelled to Fife for a tour organised by Gabriele Kuhn, our secretary, whose home county this is.
Denmylne Castle - a ruined Grade A late 16th century house on the Conservation Register
Denmylne Castle is a ruined Grade A late 16th century house on the Conservation Register. It consists of a vaulted rectangular main block with a square tower on one of the longer sides. The wall head is machicolated where it faces away from the courtyard. The plan is considered unusual and a French prototype is suggested. The tower was part of a larger complex. Is there a prospective purchaser out there?
Lindores Abbey - a 12th century Tironensian Abbey
A 12th century Tironensian Abbey the remains of which consist of a gateway, slype and parts of the chancel walls together with the western tower of the church. The plan is traceable. Of note is the precinct wall to the south. Reformers sacked the abbey and expelled the monks in 1543 and again in 1559 - this time for good. It was then robbed out for its stone.
Ballinbreich Castle - 14th century in origin
This 14th century castle is in a bad state of repair. It originally consisted of a tower to which additions were made in the 15th and 16th centuries. In its final form it was a three storied L-plan castle with a rectangular courtyard with buildings on three sides and a curtain wall closing the fourth. The whole being surrounded by a moat. A chapel can be noted on the second floor.
Creich Castle - a 16th century L-plan tower
This is a 16th century L-plan tower once enclosed by a courtyard and formerly surrounded by a marsh. The upper floors are unaccessible and the whole is in a bad state of repair. Though records suggest a castle on this site in the 13th century what we see now are obviously of a later date.
Pitcullo Castle - beautifully restored in 1972 and winning the Saltire Award in the process
Pitcullo, once a ruin, was beautifully restored in 1972 and winning the Saltire Award in the process. It is a late 16th century vaulted house of three storeys. An attractive staircase is corbelled out in the re-entrant and is crowned by a square caphouse. The entrance is guarded by a gun loop and the whole is harled.
Monimail Tower - all that remains of a former palace
This small tower is all that remains of the former palace famous for its connection with Cardinal Beaton (1539-46). The lower part of the tower may indeed belong to the cardinal but the upper is later C 1578. A episcopal residence is recorded here as early as 1300. As stated, the tower is but a fragment of a much larger complex and a corner tower can be made out to the NW with a gun-loop flanking what must have been a curtain wall. Monimail has been restored in recent years to a high standard using historically correct materials.
Strathendry Castle - a stout late 16th century tower restored and occupied
Strathendry is a stout late 16th century tower restored and occupied. It is oblong in plan with a circular stair tower projecting from the centre of one wall. The basement is vaulted and the parapet is corbelled out with rounds. Fenestration has been much altered and the whole is encompassed by building dating from the 19th century.
Tullibole Castle - a good example of a laird’s house built on the palace plan
Grade A listed and a family home. An heraldic stone above the entrance provides the date 1608. Tullibole is a good example of a laird’s house built on the palace plan. The original house consisted of an oblong block with a projecting wing. In 1956 considerable internal restoration was carried out and the exterior harled. This harling has recently been removed and a contemporary remedy applied.
Burleigh Castle - an early 16th century tower
Burleigh Castle is an early 16th century tower which was part of a rectangular enclosure furnished with a gate and a corner tower. The latter bears a date of 1592.
The walls are 5’ in thickness and rise to a corbelled parapet. The windows have been altered and the internal floors are gone. The corner tower is round at the base but delightfully corbelled out to the square though a little stunted in appearance. Gunloops are plentiful. There is evidence that the site was ditched.
Balvaird Castle - a well preserved 15th century L-shaped tower
A well preserved 15th century L-shaped tower with ancillary buildings in ruin dating from the 16th grouped around courtyards. Other walls and enclosures were probably gardens and orchards. Many towers now stand alone but at Balvaird the visitor can see the tower house in its full context.
Worthy of note is the positioning of the privies so that they can feed into one single waste chute. This was flushed out by rainwater collected in a tank on the battlements.
Ecclesiamagirdle House - a fortified lairds house
Ecclesiamagirdle House is a fortified lairds house of three storeys and an attic. It was built in 1648 with one wing incorporating the stair capped by a watch chamber and another wind added later. There has been a small courtyard. A ruined chapel and a doocot lie adjacent.
Lochore Castle - on a site suggesting a motte and bailey castle originally
Lochore occupies a mound which once stood above a sheet of water until drained in the 18th century. The engraving shows its appearance at this time. The site suggests a motte and bailey castle altered to accommodate the 14th century tower. At the foot of the mound can be traced the circuit of its barmkin wall complete with small round towers of the 16th century. Foundations of other outbuildings lie to the north and west.
Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle