Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Archaeologists uncover medieval defences in grounds of historic castle

Fyvie Castle Aberdeenshire

The 'gatehouse' dated 1599

Archaeologists have made a surprising discovery in the grounds of an Aberdeenshire castle. Experts excavating at Fyvie Castle, near Turriff, expected to uncover a 400-year-old garden. Instead they have discovered what they believe to be an 800-year-old defence system which will help them learn more about the castle's history.

Fyvie Castle L Plan

Interior forming a L-plan

Fyvie is recorded in a charter of 1211 but the first mention of a stone building dates from 1395. The lower stages of Fyvie are of early date but the upper were remodelled in the late 16th century and responsible for today's striking appearance. Shannon Fraser, of the NTS, said: "We don't know anything about medieval Fyvie at all ... to come across 13th century pottery is just incredible".

However, a caveat - among the findings was a fragment of Chinese porcelain!

Fyvie Castle dig

Fyvie Castle dig

Source: The Castle Studies Group Bulletin Summer 2012

Added: 19 Jul 2012 Updated: 05 Dec 2014
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