newsnews & featurespiteadie sale
Piteadie, which has recently been put up for sale, is a late 15th century tower house which was extended and embellished in the 17th century. It is attractively situated on the edge of a hill in Fife about two miles from the coastal town of Kinghorn and once stood within attractive Renaissance parkland.
The tower consists of three storeys on a vaulted basement. On the first floor is the hall where the original entrance door was situated. This was reached by an outside timber staircase supported by corbels. This was blocked in the 17th century when a new entrance was slapped through at ground floor level. At the same time the walls were ‘thinned’ to create more space and advantage taken to enlarge and regularise the fenestration. A fireplace of ‘striking design’ was a key feature together with a little stone seat in a recess where one could keep warm! A garderobe completed the hall’s comforts.
From here a stair continued to the bedrooms, cap house and corner rounds to present the attractive appearance so typical of the Scottish vernacular.
In 1528 there was a falling out between William Barclay of Touch Castle, Stirling and John Vallance of Piteadie resulting in the latter’s murder. Barclay was denounced for his part along with Robert Clarke in Dysart, Robert Melville, goldsmith and John Melville.
The killers were not executed for their crewel slauchter but instead had their property escheated ie confiscated – a popular ruling in Scotland to compensate the victim’s family whereas their heads would bring nothing. The murderers were also put on probation for 19 years!
Piteadie Castle is on the market separately for offers over £225,000 or as part of a lot including Piteadie House for £1.2 million. The castle would lend itself to restoration as an exciting and unique home. However, as with all such buildings there are caveats for the would be purchaser. Piteadie is a ‘Category B Listed Building’ and Historic Scotland advise that:
‘Any proposals to renovate or refurbish the castle including for use as a residential dwelling should seek to preserve the cultural significance and special interest of the castle and that any work should be sensitive and safeguard the continued importance of the building for the future.’
The Scottish Castles Association encourages the restoration and rehabilitation of our native tower houses and Piteadie is a splendid example of the type. Its transformation into a dwelling would ensure its future and it is to be hoped that someone with the right amount of flair will come forth.
Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.
* Photographs courtesy of Scottish Castles Association member John Pringle.
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