Kilnmaichlie House

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Alternative Names Kilnmaichlie Tower
Canmore ID 253761
Site Number NJ13SE 6
NGR NJ 18133 32080
Council MORAY
Former Region GRAMPIAN
Former District MORAY
Former County BANFFSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Accessing Scotland's Past

Kilnmaichlie House stands in woodland on the west bank of the River Avon, about 1.4 km north of its confluence with the River Livet. The place name is depicted on Robert Gordon's mid-seventeenth century map of Strathavon.

A sixteenth-century L-plan tower-house on this site came to be incorporated into a late eighteenth or early nineteenth century farmsteading. The steading stands about 100m south-west of the farmhouse, and is depicted on the 1976 1:10000 Ordnance Survey map.

According to the 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey 6-inch map of Banffshire (1872), a mill-dam, sluice and mill lade lay to the north of the farm buildings, but by the 2nd edition 6-inch map (1904) the mill was in disuse and only the dam is shown.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project at

Accessing Scotland's Past

Kilnmaichlie Tower stands in woodland on the western bank of the River Avon, about 1.4km north of where the River Livet meets the River Avon. The place name is depicted on Robert Gordon's mid-seventeenth-century map of Strathavon.

Today, the site of Kilnmaichlie appears to be occupied by a late eighteenth- or early nineteenth-century farmsteading. However, the square stair-turret which projects from the rear of the farmhouse with a crowstepped gable may have been part of the original L-plan tower-house, dating from the sixteenth or early seventeenth century. A rubble-built outbuilding near the entrance to the farm may be contemporary with the tower-house.

Built into the side of the farmhouse is a small circular metal plaque. The image of the phoenix rising from flames can be seen above the legend: 'PROTECTION'. Such plaques can often be seen on buildings of similar date in towns and cities, and indicated that the building had fire insurance.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project at

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Archaeological Notes

(NJ 1805 3200) Kilnmaichlie (NAT).
OS 6" map, Banffshire, 2nd ed., (1905)

Kilmaichlie was originally an oblong tower of 16/17th century date, but has been altered and enlarged.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

Only the tower in the centre of the present 2 - storeyed building is original. The S end has been added, but the single storey N outbuilding may have been part of the original. (Information from Mrs Meldrum)
Visited by OS (R L) 25 August 1966.

22 September 2008

Project Buildings at Risk Register BARR

Notes L-plan tower house extended later to N to form tall rectangular E facing dwelling with stair tower projecting off-centre in E front and terminating above wallhead in small caphouse. Modern grey harling; tooled granite margins and dressings. Original entrance blocked; present entrances in S gable and E front, both masked by late 19th century timber porches. Windows of varying size form regular pattern both front and rear; pair diminutive attic windows light caphouse of stair-tower; 3 small slit vents in rear; small attic light in each gable; 12-pane glazing. End stacks with circa 1700 copes; Banffshire slate roofs.

Crowstepped gables; mask skewput to caphouse, and also at SE angle just below wallhead. Early 19th century wing of 2 builds projects from N gable. Harled rubble with segmental headed archway; 2 doorways and irregular fenestration. (Some circa 1987)

Sir Walter Stewart held Kilnmaichlie in 1490 (great grandson of Robert II). The property was subdivided into two farm cottages in the 18th century through to the 1980s, as part of the Ballindalloch estate. (Historic Scotland).

BARR website

Further details

External Links

Moray Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Bogdan and Bryce, N and I B D (1991) 'Castles, manors and 'town houses' survey', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 36

Coventry, M (2008) Castles of the Clans: the strongholds and seats of 750 Scottish families and clans, Musselburgh
Page(s): 243,555 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.COV

MacGibbon and Ross, D and T (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v Edinburgh
Page(s): Vol. 4, 128, illust. Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.MAC

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