Fordyce Castle and Findlater Castle

Castle image

Fordyce Castle and Findlater Castle are closely neighbouring buildings but differ fundamentally in almost every particular.

Fordyce Castle

Fordyce Castle is still standing, in good repair and inhabited, encircled by a village, and for all its gun-loops and shot-holes is a residence rather than a fortification. The architectural focus of the pretty village of Fordyce, the castle was built in 1592 by Thomas Menzies a former Provost of Aberdeen. McKean (1990) asks wryly of Menzies 'What could he have done in Aberdeen so to make him fortify himself against retribution?'

Findlater Castle

Built on a spit of land thrusting out into the Moray Firth, the site of Findlater Castle was chosen for a defensive fortalice, the building castellated for purpose rather than decoration. The castle, originally the seat of the Ogilvies of Findlater, abandoned by them in 1600 in favour of their new palace in Cullen (McKean, 1990), is now ruined, though the beehive doocot that supplied it with pigeon-squabs for the kitchen is in good order having recently been restored.

Approached by a narrow causeway with defensive breaks in two places, the remains of the castle can be visited by sufficiently intrepid explorers, and there is access to some of the lower chambers. Surrounded by steep cliffs on almost all sides, the site is dangerous, but the views of the cliff-bound Aberdeenshire Coast, pounded by the breaking waves are unforgettable.

(The 5th of 6 pages. Revision date: Friday 4th October 2013)

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