MHG45242 - Beaufort Castle


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Type and Period (1)

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Beau Fort {NR} (Ruin)
(NH 5063 4297) Dounie Castle {NR} (Site of)
(NH 50674301) Beaufort Castle {NAT}.
OS 25"map, Inverness-shire, 1st ed., (1871)

Beaufort Castle stands on the site of the old fortress of Beaufort or Downie; and mention is made of it so early as Alexander I ( 1106 - 1124) when it sustained a siege, and the trenches then made are still visible. It was also seized and blown up by Oliver Cromwell. Immediately after the battle at Culloden, it was burnt and razed to the ground by Cumberland's army. It is said that the present is the twelfth edifice which has been erected on the same site. It was the seat of the Frasers of Lovat.
NSA 1845

'On the North it was secured by a steep green bank, rising about 100 feet from the edge of the river: on the land side, it was guarded by two ditches, the nearest about 40 and the other about 300 yards from the walls... Traces of fortification may still be explored.
L Shaw and J F S Gordon 1882

The present Beaufort Castle, seat of the Frazers of Lovat,was built in 1885 and has since been modified. The only surviving feature of Dounie Castle is part of a wall 11.0m long, 1.5m thick and 1.5m high situated at NH 5073 4300, which, according to a plaque set in a wall close by is"...the ruin of Castle Downie, the ancient stronghold of the Frazers of Lovat, built c. 1400, and destroyed by Cumberland after the battle of Culloden". The name "Downie" is undoubtedly a corruption of Dounie. Landscape gardening, in association with the modern structure, has obliterated all trace of outer defences in the west, but the ditch mentioned by Shaw is still evident in the east.
Revised at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (NKB) 17 December 1964.

Air photographs, taken by Jill Harden in 1989, are in Inverness Museum (8904.19 and 8906.58 INVMG).
Information from J Harden 1989.

Owner - Lord Lovat

Architect: James Maitland Wardrop - 1880
Groome - 1882
William Burn - 1839 (alterations and additions to previous house
Reginald Fairlie - 1938. Rebuilding after fire with additions and alterations.

W Schomberg Scott Manuscripts MS/908 Acc No 1997/39
2 pencil drawings.

REFERENCE: National Library of Scotland
Sir Francis Linley's "Lord Lovat" - 1 plate

RIBA Drawings Collection:
William Burn 1838 & 1839 - plans for alterations & perspective sketch

Beaufort Castle (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG8671.

Scottish Field, Scottish Field May 1957, p.25, May 1957 p. 25 - illustrated article (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3552.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4953.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4954.

NSA, 1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, Vol. 15, Inverness-shire, 496-7 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2597.

Shaw, L, 1882, The history of the province of Moray: comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the County of Inverness, and a portion of the County of Banff - all called the Province of Moray before there was a division into counties, Vol. 2, 382 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2787.

Forman, S, 1957, 'Beaufort Castle: Inverness-shire home of Lord Lovat, DSO MC, 23rd chief of the Clan Fraser', Scot Fld Vol. 105 May 1957, p.25-7, 25-7 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG263.

RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of North-east Inverness, Inverness District, Highland Region, 26, No. 195 (Text/Report). SHG2673.

Beaufort Castle, 1995, [Beaufort Castle, newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG3059.

Paterson, Love and Ross, M, D and J, 1995, [Beaufort Castle, newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG3097.

Beaufort Castle, 1995, Castle too costly for National Trust [Beaufort Castle, newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG3081.

Ross, J, 1995, Sale may break up Lovat estate [Beaufort Castle, newscutting] (Text/Publication/Article/Newspaper Article). SHG3104.

Beaufort Castle Estate, 1995, The Beaufort Castle Estate: [sale particulars] (Text/Publication/Leaflet). SHG1969.

Sources/Archives (13)



Grid reference Centred NH 5066 4301 (40m by 40m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH54SW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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