Lordscairnie Castle

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Lordscairnie Castle

Lordscairnie Castle is a ruin situated near Moonzie, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north-east of Cupar, in Fife, Scotland. It is protected as a scheduled monument.[1]


Cairnie was a property of the Lindsay family, later Earls of Crawford, from 1355. The tower was constructed around 1500 by Alexander Lindsay of Auchtermoonzie (d.1517). The second son of the 4th earl of Crawford, Alexander subsequently became 7th earl, inheriting the earldom from his nephew who was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.[2] According to John Knox, James V of Scotland visited the castle just before his death in 1542, to visit the earl's daughter who was "one of his whores".[3] It was unoccupied in the 17th century, and was used for religious meetings by an outlawed Episcopal congregation. It was later used for agricultural purposes.[2]


It was originally an L-plan tower house with five storeys, including a barrel-vaulted basement and a garret. The stair tower is located on the north-west side, linking all floors from a ground floor entrance. The parapet and many of the dressed stones forming the window surrounds have been lost.[2] To the north-east is a single round tower, once flanking a gate within an outer enclosure wall.[4]

Potential restoration[edit]

In 1996 the castle was bought by an American millionaire, Robert Bourne, who planned to restore it as a second home and a retreat for software developers. However, he sold the castle in 2003 without starting any work.[5] It was on the market again in 2012, with an asking price in the region of £220,000.[6] It was estimated that at least £1 million would be needed to undertake restoration.[7]


  1. ^ "Lordscairnie Castle, 4800m NW of Cupar. SM859". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lordscairnie Castle". Castle Conservation Register. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Knox, John (1831). The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland. Blackie, Fullarton, & Co. p. 31. 
  4. ^ "Lordscairnie Castle". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Inglis, Janet (2011). Scotland's Castles: rescued, rebuilt and reoccupied, 1945 - 2010 (PDF) (Ph.D. Thesis). University of Dundee. p. 159. 
  6. ^ "Land for sale: Moonzie, Fife". Rightmove. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  7. ^ Tims, Anna (1 February 2013). "Snooping around – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

Coordinates: 56°20′54.94″N 3°3′15.27″W / 56.3485944°N 3.0542417°W / 56.3485944; -3.0542417