Archaeologists have discovered two hidden medieval chambers at the National Trust for Scotland’s Drum Castle.
Work to restore Drum’s medieval tower led to the discovery that has remained hidden for at least 150 years.
Investigations are being conducted by Dr Jonathan Clark, for Field Archaeology Specialists (FAS) Heritage.
His team began by unblocking openings on the west face of the tower to establish the condition of the interior spaces.
Dr Clark told the Piper: “We were surprised when we peered in, through the dim light of a torch and the mists of dust trapped for centuries, to find a perfectly preserved medieval chamber.”
“This adds greatly to our knowledge of how the interior of the Tower of Drum was used in the medieval period.”
In due course the discovery could contribute to a greater knowledge of how 14th century towers were used in their heyday.
Soon after the initial discovery was a second chamber, which legend holds was the hiding place of Mary Irvine’s brother for three years after the Jacobean defeat at Culloden.
Dr Clark said: “This is a huge discovery for Drum.”
The £700k project which precipitated the find hopes to repair structural problems on the tower and was funded by a National Trust grant made possible by an anonymous donor and Historic Scotland.