MHG8493 - Ballone Castle


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Type and Period (1)

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Now includes listed building refs previously stored under NH98SW0054
JW 12/1/01
Exclusion from schedule - Ballone Castle. Letter received from HS 31/10.03. See Assoc. Docs. File.
J Aitken : 15/3/04
NMRS Notes:
NH98SW 1 9288 8373.
Ballone Castle (NR) OS 6" map, (1959)

This castle, built Z-plan in late 16th century (Tranter 1962-70), presumably by Dunbars who held property from 1507 to beginning of 17th century, was acquired by MacKenzies 1623 and was occupied until at least 1693 (Fraser 1876), but was ruinous by mid-18th century (Macfarlane 1906-8).
It has been a very fine example of its kind consisting of a main block, lying N-S and rising to three storeys and a garret, with one square and one round corner tower. Two slender stair turrets occupy re-entrant angles and there are corner turrets at other angles. To N, contemporary vaulted outbuildings, including a bake-house and other offices, were probably built against a wall which enclosed a small courtyard between castle and perpendicular rocks above sea. The castle is first mentioned in early 1600's as "the fortalicium" of Easter Tarbat (Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1984) for which property 'Ballone' appears to have been an alternative name (Fraser 1876). On creation of Earldom of Cromartie in 1703, first earl, formerly Sir George MacKenzie, took 'Castlehaven' (from NH98NW 5) as one of his subsidiary titles and transferred that name to castle. It appears to have been known as 'Castlehaven' for remainder of 18th century (OSA 1793), but by 1872 locally accepted name appears to have been Ballone Castle (ONB 1872; MacGibbon and Ross 1887-92).
OSA 1793; Name Book 1872; W Fraser 1876; D MacGibbon and T Ross
1887-92; W Macfarlane 1906-8; N Tranter 1962-70; Reg Magni Sig Reg Scot 1984.

Ballone Castle, as described and illustrated, still stands two storeys high. There are traces of what may have been a curtain wall extending SW from NW corner of castle, and also along cliff-top to SE.
Visited by OS (A A) 19 September 1972.

Scottish Field, October 1951, p.49 "Balone Castle"-letter to editor

Sources/Archives (17)



Grid reference Centred NH 9288 8373 (98m by 72m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH98SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish TARBAT

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