MHG15426 - Castle Grant


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Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1900 AD?) + Sci.Date

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Full Description

NJ03SW 2 0412 3017.

(NJ 0412 3017) Castle Grant (NAT)
OS 6"map, Morayshire, 2nd ed., (1903)

Castle Grant was an L-shaped building, characteristically 16th century but Sir Ludovic Grant, 1743-1773, completely enveloped the old castle in a new construction and only the original 16th entury wing is visible, with its original corbelled parapet.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1987-92.

Castle Grant, as described and illustrated by McGibbon and Ross, now unoccupied and becoming ruinous.
Visited by OS (N K B) 6 September 1966.

Architect: John Adam - alterations and reconstruction 1753-1783
Andrew Kerr - plans for additions - not executed
Thomas Winter - design for new garden 1748

REFERENCE - Scottish Record Office

RHP 9045-7 18th century, plans & elevation
RHP 9053 18th century, plan & elevation of a mansion
RHP 9058 Thomas Urquhart 1803, plans & elevation of a new entry
RHP 9059 18th century, plan & elevation - porter's lodge
RHP 8946 Thomas Winter 1748, plan for a new little garden
RHP 8947-8 18th century, plans of the gardens, parks & woods
RHP 9076 Early 18th century, plan & elevation of farm offices

Sketch elevation on Articles of Agreement betwixt Frazer, mason in Fochabers. Frazer is to make a large door in the middle of the Body of the House of Castle Grant of any of the five orders of Architecture the sd... pleases... also a large window each side of the door proportionate thereto.

Two turrets are to be taken down viz. one on the north west corner of the body of the house and the other on the west corner of the east wing, the four windows to be filled up and the place where the turrets are to be built in a square wall.

RHP 9046
1st and 2nd floor plans showing new stair incl. Mr Grant's dressing room and Lady Margaret's bedchamber.

RHP 9047
Sketch plan of ground and 2nd storey office quarters linked to castle by a covered passage.

RHP 9048
3rd storey plan (part only) of addition, hatched, cross-hatching shows new addition.

RHP 9049
Plan and elevation of office houses.

RHP 9050
Plan of ground floor, hatched, cross hatching shows new work.

RHP 9051
Plan of part of sunk storey of offices.

RHP 9052
Plan of part of 4th floor, cross hatching shows new work.

RHP 9053
Principal and ground floor plans and elevation showing remodelling of house

1/18 John Adam to Sir Ludovick Grant, Edr, 3rd May 1753
Report on David Frew's progress at (?Castle Grant)
(work on the "gable next the Cumming Tower" etc).
"I am extreamly glad that David pleases you, & as he is an intelligent man in his way, I hope he will continue to give satisfaction."

1/27 Note on provision of materials by Sir Ludovick Grant
"for the whole Plan as drawen by Mr Adams", n.d.
8 masons and 4 labourers to win hewn stone for steps of the stair,
wall, etc., lime, loading and carts; also order for 12 picks and 12 hammers, "as none of those Kynds now wanted came from New Castle".

1/28 Glaziers' account, Castle Grant, 1711

REFERENCE - Scottish Record Office

Alexander Grant, Invercardnen, to [Sir] James Grant of Grant,
17th Feb. 1728:
"The Measons are very bussy Slapping and repairing the windows and have finishd fourty of theme, the work I think is very Suficiently handsome ... the masone tells me he will beginn the Garden Walls the first of March, and Mr Bailie the wright Comes to Castle Grant, to beginn his work the 20th of March ... the froast was so severe and of so long Continowance that the timber could not be wrought sooner either in the wood or at the miln ... the walls on the north Syde of Castle Grant are very unsuficent as the masone tells me, the Lime is perfectly roaten and groun as Small as pouder, James Blair tells me ye Imployd him to Lyne Your room in ye Isle [=Aisle] of Cromdale, and Mr Bailie ashures me that ye spoke to him to Do that work So that Ive stopt Blairs working of it till I have your advice ... Since the timber that was Designd for the Isle is dry wee most make use of it for the house."
Seafield MSS

John Adam: Castle Grant
1756, 22 August - detailed memorial on additions propossed for N side of Castle Grant.
Start quarries to enable building next spring, lay in lime nearby, keep masons hewing ready in winter. Dimensions of stones - back and stair steps, window soles and lintels, ashlar for rebates and coigns, tabling for wall tops. B ring in all suitable stones for parks, and all necessary building materials.

Open 'pend stones' quarry ready for window arches.
Order sawyers at Coulnakyle to put aside "clean deals" and lay out for seasoning. Joists can be whole timber as it is plentiful: put 50 23-ft logs aside, squared.
Instruction for roof timbers, wall-plates and smaller timbers.

Castle Grant, 1791 - slating and other repairs, by Robt Grant,

GD 248/352/4/27

/5 James Dunbar to Sir L., Cubin House, 26 Jan.
At Moy over a tenancy (Mr Vass?). "Mr Frew has not been there as yet to make you the plan of the Stable & Coach house you want to talar" (19th Jan., no. 16, he said Frew wd give them information on that)

/10 Jas Grieve to Do., D. Grant, 1st Jan. (NB)
Returned here last week. "Mr ffrew came here ffriday last, and intends finishing the hearths &c before he goes, but 15 of the stones are yet to come up, notwithstanding all I have done. I'm this night to write Mr Vass to see if he can carry them to the Polda", better use Sir L's horses so as not to delay Frew's work.

/9,12, Lachlan Grant to Sir L., 8 and 13 Jan. (misfiled) On money due Mr Adams. Commissary Bisset has been here and offered ?150 and bills for rest. "I have not agreed to it unless Mr Adams takes them"

/25 Jas Grieve to Sir L, C Grant, 25 Feb.
Awaiting his return of wright's acct. "Pray let me know if the Bacon Rack is to be put up on the roof of the New Kitchen, as the wright alledged it will spoil the Beauty of the roof. besides needing a pulley for pulling it up & down."

/33 John Robert and James Adam to Sir L., Edr, 5 Feb. Enclosing acct for work since March 1755, they "waited David Frew's coming to Town that we might be sure of nothing being omitted. He tells me that every thing he was doing for You at Castle Grant is now finish'd except some Hearth stones which are not yet come up, but he has left orders with a Mason there to get them wrought how soon they arrive". They wd be grateful for any part of balance, having received nothing from "Mr Grant" [i.e. Lachlan?]

/32 David Frew to Sir Ludovick Grant, Hopton, 23 Feb., 1756


I left Castal Grant on the 26th of Janr your Herth Stons was not Com hom I wated two wickes douing nothing I Could wait no lounger; I was orderd South by Mr Adam to go to Lord George Hay for to buld the House of New hall but he is to Buld non this year; but to provid til the next so Mr Adam his nothing particular to dou... I most provid my self
Sir I spock to Governor Cofilde [=Gaulfield] at Castal Grant for to give me som of the Bridge in Gleanallck or on the rod to Burnarie which the Governor simed to give me; but ther was som diffrance hapned betwixt Mr Adams and him on my acount, at Fort Gorge. but ... it wil cost you only a word with the Governor to mack it up; and if he wil be so good as in ploy me this year for a trayal then he wil find both my honistay and what suffisant work I mack if he is to imploy me I houp your honour or the Governor wil let me kno in a short tim or I engage aney other way I got no Monie as yeat for Billeward but I houp you wil order it when it is convinant for you
ther is a young man a plastrer her at Houpton who plastred the Castal of Banff and his bien most partlie her since; and would be glad to go, and dow yours the loest pries I can bring him to is four pens for the Rouf Eich yeard, and thrie pens Eich yeard for the wal on [i.e. one] pen. str. pr Inch for Cornish. I thinck al is vere resonable but the Cornish I thinck a hapnie pr Inch is sufisant. he is to be at al Charde in Macken up the Lim and serven him self; al I can say you will be shur to get yor work right don
Sir I depend on your macken agriement with with [sic] the Governor for Me; if you dow I intend to sattal in the North and posibale I might be of use for your self both in wright work and plaster the plastrer is to cost you no travlen charges if you ar to Imploy him you most send word to the Wright at Castal Grant not to fal to work in plastren for his is was [sic] to begin a bout the ferst of Apri if you think propar to writ me I wil be her for 3 or 4 wickes"

Scottish Record Office - RHP 9059 18th century, plan and elevation

National Library of Scotland: Newhailes Papers
MS25678 Photograph album with views of the armoury at Castle Grant with densely arranged weapons c 1905

Note from Ian Gow; George Taylor 'Plan of Gardens and Offices at Castle Grant' 1771 See Christie's Catalogue Lot 591 1975, possibly bought by AAT.

Inventory to plans (Cullen House drawings) held in the Scottish Record Office (R6 p24) - typescript
Source list of material on Art and Architecture (Seafield) (R6 p30) - typescript

BAS Local Plan, Sept. 1997: P12/2.2.17. High Technology Business and P19/2.5.13. Historic Buildings.
POLICY - The Council will encourage the est. of high technology business within the area. Such enterprises require self-contained, high amentiy sites and good access.
J Aitken : 24/05/01.

Castle Grant was one of twenty sites to have been part of the SCOT2K Native Pine Dendrochronology Project. One of the aims of this project included dating and provenancing of native Scottish pine timbers in buildings and archaeological sites and dates were found to range from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, from high-status castles to modest cruck cottages. They were mostly located in the Highlands where Scots pine occurs naturally and so these areas were more likely to have had native pine used in buildings, although an early example of long-distance transport is also identified. More widely in Scotland, many historic buildings are dominated by imported timber from the 15th century onwards, and native timbers may be under recognised, something the project is helping to address. Native pine from the roof at Castle Grant was dendrochronologically dated to the 16th century, with a terminus post quem date of AD 1512. <1> Summary of results <2>

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NJ 0414 3017 (300m by 300m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NJ03SW

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