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Inchdrewer Castle, Alvah

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Inchdrewer Castle
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NJ 65598 60714
Location Type
HS Reference No


Compact 3-storey L-plan tower house on commanding site. Rubble with tooled ashlar dressings. Round-headed doorway in S elevation and similar, but narrow, door way in W re-entrant angle below squinch supporting angle stair tower. These doorways supersede blocked narrow 1st floor entrance flanking stair turret in W re-entrant. Circular stair turret at E rising to corbelled crenellated wallhead, 3 small angle turrets rising from 1st floor or 2nd floor level, that at W supported by squinch. Plain 2-storey, 2-bay gabled wing projects at E. Long 1st floor window in S elevation lights hall. Remaining fenestration (except in 18th century wing) small and irregular with renewed timber multi-pane glazing. Enlarged single window in W gable and 2 similar in N elevation, all of circa 1971 plate glass glazing and lighting former 1st floor hall. Ruinous rubble walls advance from S elevation, flanking former courtyard at E accommodating former kitchen with mural slop sink. Principal entrance probably opened from S courtyard, flanked by round-headed towers, of which vestiges survive. Small round-headed postern gate in W of barmkin wall, with draw-bar hole and draw-bar, entrance protected by diminutive gun loop.

Inchdrewer was purchased by Sir Walter Ogilvie of Dunlugas (or his son, Sir George) in 1557 from the Curror family. A successor, Lord Banff, lived there in 1642 until killed by a fire in the castle in 1713. It was still lived in by 1836. Undated proposals by the architect Oliver Hill exist in the RIBA Drawings Collection. In 1971 Inchdrewer Castle was purchased and partially restored by Robin Mirrlees de la Lanne; a plaque, dated 1971, records this restoration together with the names of J Lamb, architect and A Walker, builder. Inchdrewer Castle stands on a rise with commanding views over Banff Bay and the surrounding countryside. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
C.1500; Late 16th century; Late 18th century; 1971 restoration works

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
December 1992, October 1997, 12/02/2008, 15/10/2010, 23/10/2013
Development History
1971: The castle is restored, though the interior is left uncompleted and the project is abandoned. December 1992: Exterior inspection reveals the castle to remain in good condition. 23 December 1996: Press reports note that the owner plans to restore the castle. January 2000: Local planners report that considerable interest has been shown in the property. January 2004: Local planners report that the owner has refused an offer of purchase.
February 2008: External inspection finds the Castle, although restored in 1971, showing signs of a lack of maintenace; all glazing is broken and the property is unsecured.
October 2010: External inspection finds the semi-restored building has deteriorated and is now on the cusp of ruination. Local planners advise they have recently contacted the building's owner regarding the Castle.
14 December 2012: Local planners report the property has recently been transferred within the family following the death of the last owner. The building's condition is advised to have deteriorated since the last inspection.
8 May 2013: The property is being marketed for sale through Sotherby's International Reality at offers over £400,000. The particulars note the title, Baron of Inchdrewer, will be sold with the property.
23 October 2013: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
22 January 2014: A member of the public notes the Aberdeen Evening Express has reported that Inchdrewer has been sold to a restoring purchasor.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Castle
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Unverifed see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Banff & Buchan Charles McKean (1990), p50
Online Resources
Castles, Palaces and Fortified Houses
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit