The motte of this motte and bailey castle is an elongated trapezoid shape, the top of which measures around 45 metres long by 16 metres wide, and stands to a height of around 5 metres. It was a natural mound which was then artificially flattened.
A lower terrace was once surrounded by a bailey measuring around 90 metres by 60 metres, traces of which were apparently still visible in the 19th century, but nothing remains to be seen. Vaulted chambers are said to have been removed from the motte in the late 18th century, but no stone foundations can now be seen on the site.
To the north is a natural ditch formed by a dried-up channel of the West Water, while to the south and east was a moat measuring around 9 metres wide, although this has now filled up and is only just visible as a slight depression in the land.
This castle is thought to have been built by the Abbe or Abbott family in the 12th century. By the 13th century it was the property of the family of Stirling of Glenesk, who may have been descendants of the Abbe or Abbott family. Later, through the marriage of Catherine Stirling of Glenesk to Sir Alexander Lindsay in around 1357, the castle passed to the Lindsay family.
David Lindsay, who inherited the castle in 1513, began the construction of Edzell Castle around 400 metres to the north-north-east in 1520, and the old castle was soon abandonned.
Alternative names for Edzell Castle motte
Castlehillock; Castle Hillock