MHG6880 - Cawdor Castle


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Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH84NW 1 8471 4987

For (predecessor) house of Old Cawdor (NH c. 858 512), see NH85SE 9.

(NH 8471 4987) Cawdor Castle (NR)
(AD. 1393) Moat (NR) Drawbridge (NR)
OS 6" map, Nairnshire, 2nd ed., (1906)

Cawdor Castle consists of mainly 17th century buildings, incorporating a keep which probably dates from about 1454.
Most of the features which give the castle the appearance of a 15th century castle, eg. Drawbridge, moat and entrance gateway, also date from the 17th century, although they are probably on the original sites. The castle originally belonged to the Calders, but passed, in the 17th century, to the Campbells of Calder, who are still represented by the Earl of Cawdor.
A previous building, mentioned as 'Calder Castle' in 1398, may have occupied the site.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

Cawdor Castle is still inhabited and in excellent condition. According to the late Lord Cawdor it comprises a towerhouse with curtain wall and dry-moat built c. 1396, with 17th century additions. The tower-house
was modified c 1456, and the cap-house added.
Visited by OS (N K B) 21 July 1971; Information from pamphlet 'Some facts about Cawdor Castle', by Lord Cawdor.

Information from catalogue slip
Architect: Thomas MacKenzie - additions; Alexander Ross - additions


Country Life, May 11th & 18th 1945 - text & photographs
Scots magazine. November 1808 - engraving. D Thomson

Alterations to Cawdor Castle
Articles of Agreement betwixt Sir Archibald Cambell of Clunes and John Nicolson, Mason in Pyperhill.
The 2 windows in the Red room of the Tower are to be sloped and built up to conform to the 2 below.
Two windows are to be built in the King's room upon the west side and the position of the door altered. In the Laigh Dining room the door is to be moved from East to West.

NAI Local Plan, Dec. 2000: P21/8. Tourism & Recreation. P43/6.2. Prospects.
J Aitken : 05/06/01.

The building was photographed as part of a character appraisal of Cawdor Conservation Area in 2015. <1>

Cawdor Castle (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG18244.

Country Life, Country Life December 29th 1906, December 29th 1906; Text and photograph (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3504.

Scottish Field, Scottish Field June 1959, p.25, June 1959. 25; text & photographs (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3505.

MacGibbon, D and Ross, T, 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, Vol. 2, 314-23; plan, fig. 765 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2442.

Historic houses of the United Kingdom, 1891, Historic houses of the United Kingdom: descriptive, historical, pictorial, 1891, p.170; text, illustrations & plan (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2316.

Turnor, C, 1896, 'Cawdor Castle', Architecture Vol. 1 1896, p.474-80, 474-80; plan & section (Text/Publication/Article). SHG419.

Forman, S, 1959, 'Conversions of character: stable-into-cottage at Seamill, West Kilbride and cottage-into-Regency-house at Moffat', Scot Fld Vol. 106 April 1959, p.29-31, Vol.106, No.678 text; Photographs (Text/Publication/Article). SHG465.

Forman, S, 1967, Scottish country houses and castles, p.144-6 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2206.

Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 95-6,No. 41 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

Love J, McMullen E (ed), 1994, A Salmon for the Schoolhouse, A Nairnshire Parish in the C19 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2425.

Worth, S, 2015, Cawdor Conservation Area Appraisal Dataset, UID087 (Dataset). SHG27122.

O and P, P J and S M, post-1966, Wallington (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2598.

Cawdor, Lord, post-1979, Room notes (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2040.

<1> Worth, S, 2015, Cawdor Conservation Area Appraisal Dataset, UID087 (Dataset). SHG27122.

Sources/Archives (14)



Grid reference Centred NH 8472 4986 (300m by 300m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH84NW
Civil Parish CAWDOR
Geographical Area NAIRN

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