Creich Castle is a ruined tower house. There is a mention of a castle on the property in the 13th century, but it is uncertain what relationship that has to the existing structures. There is documentary evidence of a tower in 1553, but the existing structure either postdates that or has been heavily remodeled, judging by its architectural style.
The first surviving records that mention Craich show that it was held by the MacDuff, Earls of Fife and they were probably the builders of the first Creich Castle. The land was subsequently owned by the Liddel family until they forfeited it when charged with treason. The Beaton family purchased it in 1503 and the property has been linked with David Betoun of Creich, Cardinal David Beaton, a 16th century Archbishop of St Andrews, and Mary Bethune. The existing ruins date from the 16th century.
The castle is 1.7 km south of the River Tay and is located in a depression surrounded by higher ground on all sides. The lower ground immediately surrounding the tower complex was formerly marsh, some of which still survives, which would have improved its defensibility. The tower house is L-shaped. The main block is three storeys tall, although the wing has a height of four storeys. The walls are whin rubble with ashlar dressings. Over the stair tower is a heavily corbelled cornice for the parapet walk. The upper floors are inaccessible and in bad repair.
The tower was likely enclosed in a courtyard as there are the remains of a small round tower 20 yards west typical of those found at gateways or, less frequently, barmkins. The nearby Creich Castle Doocot or dovecote, dating to 1723, is category A listed. It is rectangular in shape with two interior chambers.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.