MHG2281 - Freswick Castle


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Parent for:
ND36NE0008 Dovecot
ND36NE0009 St. Modan's chapel
ND36NE0030 Bridge
ND36NE0038 Grass-tempered pottery (findspot)
ND36NE0043 Steading and enclosing walls
JHooper, 21/09/2001

East Caithness Local Plan, May 1987: P10/2.18. Majour Industry - Wester and Sinclair's Bay.
POLICY - The Council will continue to safeguard and promote the large-scale industrial site at Wester/Sinclair's Bay, for marine related uses. Appropriate measures will be required to safeguard the environmental qualities of the area and to secure reinstatement on completion of workings.
J Aitken : 22/05/01.

Freswick Castle is as described and illustrated by the previous authorities. It is still inhabited
Visited by OS (J B) 21 July 1982.

Freswick Castle (NAT) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Freswick House is a tall tower-like building, probably of the early 17th century with 18th century additions, standing on a knoll and overlying an extension of the Freswick Links occupation site (ND36NE 4) characterised by a dense concentration of grass-tempered pottery in a midden layer, and possibly early structures, beneath N part of the house (Morris, Batey and Rackham 1979).
The main building, five storeys high, lies roughly E-W, with its stair-tower midway along the N front. A later wing projects S from the E end and contemporary offices from the W end. The walls are harled and the gables of the earlier structure are crow-stepped.
The house, built by the Mowats is mentioned as 'the manor place of Burnesyde with the mill' in 1653 (see ND36NE (M) 1). In 1661 it passed to the Sinclairs, and by about 1725 it was known as the House of Freswick, as opposed to the Castle of Freswick, which name is applied to ND36NE 7. It appears to have retained this name until the modern house at ND 3762 6708 was built, when the name 'Freswick Castle' was applied to it.
The existence nearby of a beehive shaped dovecot (ND36NE 8), generally accepted as being a 16th century form, might indicate an earlier house at the site, but it is equally possible that it is simply late of its type.
Although uninhabited in 1962, the house was being maintained and in 1979 was being prepared for renovation.
ND 3779 6712. A small-scale emergency excavation in 1979 in the gardens by Durham University revealed structural traces but no dating evidence. Substantial stone slabbing could represent croft remains or a farm building. It is now tree-covered.
Orig Paroch Scot 1955; J Macfarlane 1906-8; J Mowat 1931; N Tranter 1962-70; C Morris, C Batey and D Rackham 1979; C Batey 1982; Visited by OS (R D) 10 September 1962; HBD No. 6.

Sources/Archives (14)



Grid reference Centred ND 3780 6712 (26m by 45m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND36NE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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