The Architecture

This is a note about the architecture of Kincardine Castle.  ​The original house (see photo below) was built around 1710 and modified significantly since.

In 1894-6 the present castle was built, presumably to ‘keep up with Queen Victoria’.

The architects were David Niven and his brother-in-law Herbert Wigglesworth. Both trained in Scotland but worked in London. Niven was Chief Assistant of Sir Aston Webb at the time he was designing the Victoria and Albert Museum. Webb later went on to design famous London Admiralty Arch, The Mall and the familiar façade of Buckingham Palace.

This castle was Niven and Wigglesworth’s first major building. Their most famous design being the Courier Building in Dundee. Kincardine Castle includes some 500 years of architectural style built in the space of just two years. The forbidding appearance of the ‘keep’ was somewhat spoiled by the addition of three windows in the 1930s but the battlement and cap house are designs taken from the 14th century. ​e.g. Castle Deane, Ayrshire.

SE Tower Kincardine

​At the other end of the building the twin drum towers, corbelled to the square and back to the round turrets and linked by an arch is very reminiscent to the 1599 Seaton Towers at Fyvie Castle.

Drum Towers Kincardine

​​Further round to the north the twin storey square turret is almost a copy from 1587 Crathes Castle.

Much of the rest of the building incorporates fairly typical Scottish Baronial elements from 17th & 18th centuries. Various mottos and ornate granite masonry hint at the Arts and Crafts movement and the rear of the building (see photo below), which visitors were probably not intended to see, is plainer and more reminiscent of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

​In all this is a Victorian Arts and Crafts fantasy castle – or an essay in stone on the progression of big houses from a simple keep to a grand country house.

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Some kind words from our previous guests…

“A valuable time, thank you for your warm hospitality, delicious food and graciousness. We had an intense workshop to complete and your beautiful home certainly worked its magic. We will be back I’m sure.”

Andro Donovan
Nov. 2015