Peel of Lumphanan

Lumphanan, United Kingdom

The Peel of Lumphanan is a defensive structure dating back to the 13th century. The peel comprises a mound or motte, surrounded by two concentric ditches separated by a bank. On the top of the mound are the remains of a  wall, and the foundations of a house. The entrance was probably located to the west. The lower half of the motte consists of a natural mound; it was heightened when the castle was built.

A motte on this site is thought to have been in existence at the time of the Battle of Lumphanan. This battle was fought nearby in 1057, between King Macbeth and the future King Malcolm III. Macbeth was killed, and Macbeth's Stone, upon which he is said to have been beheaded, is located 300 metres to the south-west.

The present mound was constructed in the 13th century by the De Lundin family, who later adopted the name Durward from their hereditary position of royal ushers or door-wards. Sir John de Melville paid homage to Edward I of England at the peel in 1296. The original ramparts may have been of turf rather than stone. The rectangular foundation is that of Halton House, which was built in the 15th century by Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns. The circular wall, originally thought to have been the curtain wall of a shell keep, was discovered through excavation in the 1970s to be of 18th-century date.

The site is under the guardianship of Historic Scotland, and is protected as a scheduled monument. It is considered to be of national importance as 'a good surviving example of an earthwork castle with water-filled outer defences.'



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Davie B (5 months ago)
Worth a visit to catch up with local history of the past amounts Scottish nobels in a very remote area of the Highlands of Scotland. Wrap up well in the cold windy winter weather. Small car parking area nearby.
Sandy Culpepper (9 months ago)
Great for a wee stopover. Very interesting history
Sarah Takahashi (2 years ago)
The castle known as the Peel Bog, or Peel Ring, of Lumphanan appears to have been established in the thirteenth century by the de Lundins or Durward family, the hereditary door-wards or ushers to the king. The natural mound was fortified around 1250 and witnessed dramatic events before it fell out of use. In 1296 England's King Edward I was winning the Scottish Wars of Independence and toured Scotland extracting promises of loyalty from humiliated nobles. On 21 July, he came here to receive the pledge of Sir John Melville. After a period of abandonment, the castle mound was reoccupied in 1487 when Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns, Perthshire, built the residence known as Ha'ton House in the 1487, which fell into disuse by the 1800’s.
ROSS TENNANT (2 years ago)
Fantastic looking and full of history
Dean Stoker (2 years ago)
At the end of a farm road, but worth a look for a walk on top and around the mound, there's an app you can download from the info board for more historical details, there are a few info boards dotted about,but an important site if you're into history.
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