Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Claypotts Castle - an insider's view

An eagle-eyed member of the Scottish Castles Association Council spotted that Claypotts Castle in Dundee – usually only available to view from the exterior – would have one of its infrequent openings at the end of September and we spread the news amongst our members. Many jumped at the chance to view this intriguing castle's interior and even bumped into each other at the venue!

Claypotts Castle from the south-east

It proved a worthwhile visit as the 16th Century tower has been largely unspoilt over the centuries.

Usually only available to view from the exterior it was a pleasure to see the door to Claypotts Castle open in September 2019

Claypotts is a Z-plan castle that was built between 1569-1588 for the Strachan family. It has vaulted basements with the kitchen in the south tower with classic oven and slop. The stairs lead up to the main hall and then the rooms above, though the third floor has not been replaced. The defensive parapets had been lost by MacGibbon & Ross's time. MacGibbon & Ross draw the similarity in plan with Terpersie in Aberdeenshire. It has a wheeled staircase at the join between each round tower with square watch towers at the top.

LEFT: The main hall
RIGHT: Another room filled with features
LEFT: Claypotts' roof, remarkably, is largely in its original condition
RIGHT: The great fireplace in the kitchen
A cut-out near base of south tower to allow angle of fire from gun loop

Article by Scottish Castles Association member Robert Bogdan.

References: MacGibbon & Ross 1887-92 Vol 2 p 208-213; N. Tranter 1962 vol IV p 105-6;

Added: 28 Oct 2019 Updated: 16 Oct 2023
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