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Couston Castle

A Category C Listed Building in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0514 / 56°3'4"N

Longitude: -3.3369 / 3°20'12"W

OS Eastings: 316829

OS Northings: 685086

OS Grid: NT168850

Mapcode National: GBR 23.QL9P

Mapcode Global: WH6S4.Q568

Plus Code: 9C8R3M27+H6

Entry Name: Couston Castle

Listing Name: Couston Castle Including Walled Garden and Garage

Listing Date: 19 December 1979

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334725

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3606

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdour (Fife)

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Parish: Aberdour (Fife)

Traditional County: Fife

Tagged with: Tower house

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17th century tower house remains incorporated into 1980s reconstruction, Ian Begg. 3-storey with attic L-plan tower house. 2-storey wing to N, adjoined walled garden with 2-storey garage to S. Harled with some dressed and moulded stone openings.

E ELEVATION: advanced gable to left: ground floor window to left, large 1st floor window to right with narrow small window to left. Window to 2nd floor set above ground floor window, 2 evenly spaced attic windows. Wing setback to right; moulded ground floor door surround with small window to left, moulded blank panel above door with small window to left, 2nd floor window set above panel, breaking eaves attic window. Curved projecting stair tower at re-entrant angle. 2-storey outshot adjoined to right; centred ground floor window with breaking eaves window above.

N ELEVATION: stairtower; profile of stairs at ground, moulded stone gun-loop to right, various windows set between floors. Small square window to each floor to left of stair tower. Advanced N elevation to right; attic window to left. Advanced 2-storey wing adjoins N elevations; ground and 1st floor window to right, raggles.

W ELEVATION: irregular fenestration; some ashlar window surrounds and some small casement windows. 2-storey wing to left; 2 stone openings 'in and out drainage channels? (glazed, 2002) window to left, raggles to far left. Breaking eaves window to centre-left.

S ELEVATION: 3 ground floor windows, moulded lugged doorpiece to far right. 2 large rectangular windows to 1st floor, small window to far left. 3 2nd floor windows to 2nd floor with 2 narrow, horizontal slit windows beneath eaves.

Timber boarded doors with staggered nails. Various multi-paned casement and sash and case windows. Catslide roof to breaking eaves windows. Pitched grey slate roof. Crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts. Coped, rendered gable apex stacks, (no cans).

INTERIOR: mostly modern including concrete newel stair and vaulted storage room. Some salvaged moulded stone to doorpieces, original drainage channels to W wall of kitchen at N outshot.

WALLED GARDEN INCLUDING GARAGE: rectangular-shaped area to S of house enclosed by high rendered walls to W, E and S. Garage at SE corner; 2-storey, rectangular-plan; large segmental arch to ground with small offset window above to E. Crowstepped gabled breaking eaves window at 1st floor to S. Pitched grey slate roof, crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts. Rendered coped gable apex stack to E.

Statement of Interest

NOTES: In the late 12th century Robert de London (an illegitimate son of King William the lion) granted Couston and other lands in Fife to Roger Frebern. By the 16th century Couston is documented as being a fortified castle well protected by artillery (E Simpson). In the 17th century the castle was the home of the Logan family, James ?V confirming a charter to James Logan of Couston, it was also at this time that the castle was remodelled in a comparable fashion to its modern form and plan (2002). In the 1660s Rev Robert Blair, a friend of the Logan?s came to reside at the castle, Blair had been chaplain to Charles and was Regent and Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University. However, when he took up his role of minister at St Andrews in 1661 he was banished by Archbishop Sharp due to his covenanting sympathies. He sought refuge at Couston Castle where he died in 1666, an epitaph was erected to him by his sons in 1672 at St Filan?s, Aberdour (see separate listing). The castle fell into disrepair during the early 19th century. During the latter half of the 1840s the castle was partially dismantled to provide stone for the erection of a farm steading to the E, the steading was subsequently demolished in the next decade. For over a century the castle remained a ruin with only fragmentary remnants remaining which included a 17th century doorpiece opening onto the foot of a scale-and-platt stair rising to 1st floor height. In the 1980s Couston Castle was purchased by Alastair Harper, a Dunfermline businessman who set about re-building the castle. Harper employed the architect Ian Begg to reconstruct the castle using as much of the surviving masonry as was possible, original stone was recovered from the adjacent Otterson Loch and from rubble left over from the demolished nearby steading. Although the majority of the Castle is modern (only one single gable remained intact after the 1850s, this possibly was that of the N outshot) original stone and the original plan has been used successfully in the castle?s recreation. In 1988 Mr Harper and Ian Begg were given a Saltire Society Award for their contribution to ?the enhancement of Scotland architectural heritage.?

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