Tower Houses in Scotland

Discover what a Tower House is, and why Ardgrain is especially unique in sharing both Tower House and Country House features

A Scottish Tower House is a stone structure built for both living and defensive purposes. The design of a Tower House evolved from earlier castle types such as Celtic Fortresses and Motte and Bailey Castles.

Dunnottar CastleDunnottar Castle  Read more » 

Ardgrain Double Doors

Ardgrain Double Doors

Ardgrain Main Double Doors 

The double front doorway at Ardgrain is surrounded by a carved granite frame, spanned by a single granite lintel. Into this is carved the initials JEB and the date 1757. John Edward Bean made extensive alterations to Ardgrain from 1740 onwards, and he added the single storey kitchen wing to the house. Above the doorway is a Virgil quotation and house motto:

"How happy would the husbandman be if he knew his own good. Let improvements and liberty flourish."  Read more » 

Ardgrain With Trees

Ardgrain With Trees

Ardgrain

Front view of Ardgrain, showing the third floor triangular window below the Royal crest of King Charles II. The triangular window at the top of Ardgrain is very unusual to see in a house this old, and compliments the front of the house, mirroring the triangular roof above. Symbolically, triangular windows are sometimes associated with Templar and Freemasonry traditions. The triangular window on Ardgrain looks directly North when viewed from the outside.  Read more » 

Service on Ardgrain (1677)

Text abridged from Libri Actorum Curiae Vicecomitatus de Aberdeen MS.

Taken from Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (Vol III) 1857 - Page 37.  Read more » 

The will of Robert Innes (1534)

Ancient texts taken from the Charter Chest at Ellon describing the Ardgrain lands in 1534

Taken from Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (Vol III) 1857 - Page 33.  Read more » 

Letter by John Allerdes on the lands of Ardgrane (1485)

Ancient texts describing the lands of Ardgrain in 1495

Taken from Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (Vol III) 1857 - Page 32.  Read more » 

Assigning the Ardgrain lands to Alexander Irvin (1422)

Ancient texts taken from the Charter Chest at Drum, describing the Ardgrain lands in 1422

Taken from Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (Vol III) 1857 - Page 31.  Read more » 

Ardgrain - A Scottish Feudal Barony

What makes a site a Barony, and why did this make Ardgrain so important?

An introduction to the mediaeval feudal system, where warrior nobility ruled Scotland.   Read more » 

Blaeu Atlas of Scotland

As one of only three Ellon buildings worthy of mention, the Bleau Atlas highlights the importance of Ardgrain in the 1600's

 "...on the other bank is the parochial village of Ellon, close to which are Abbotshall, Ardgrain, and Auchterellon, castles or houses of the Forbeses, the Kennedies and the Udnies respectively..."  Read more » 

The Ardgrain Name

Ardgrain

From its earliest Celtic origins, the name Ardgrain has slowly evolved over time while remaining easily recognisable and totally unique

 

Celtic Origins

The name Ardgrain has gradually evolved and changed in spelling over the past centuries. With few people able to write, many references to Ardgrain were transcribed from word of mouth, and local accents and changing dialects have played a part in the various spellings.  Read more »