May 2019 Historic Coull
We had a good turn out of 18 members for our first outing of 2019. Starting at Kirklands of Coull, Professor Jane Geddes told us about the history of the house which had been the manse for Coull Kirk. It was built around 1830 after the loch was drained and a deeper channel cut for the Tarland Burn. It originally had a number of outbuildings including byre, stables, gig shed and peat shed.
Next we went to Coull Church which is late 18th century in date and incorporates the west gable and bellcote from the earlier church. It is rectangular on plan and built in a Neo-Classical style, which includes the round-arched windows and doors. The church was built using roughly-squared, coursed granite blocks, with better quality ashlar stone used on the south elevation. The curious ventilator stone in the boiler house wall is obviously a relic from some earlier building.
Then on to nearby Coull Castle which was one of three castles built by the Durwards c. AD 1228. Excavations from 1912 to 1923 revealed a pentagonal courtyard, 110ft broad, with the remains of three flanking towers, standing with its back to Tarland Burn, and defended in front by an enormous ditch. The absence of any pottery later than the early 14th century and the evidence from excavation that the castle was deliberately dismantled, indicate that it was probably destroyed by Bruce in AD 1307 during the War of Independence.
Our thanks to Professor Geddes for a fascinating trip around historic Coull.