Auchindoun Castle – Romantic Ruins
Auchindoun Castle lies on the banks of the River Fiddich in Scotland's Aberdeen and Grampian region, and despite the fact that it is now in ruins, it has always attracted many visitors who are charmed by its romantic silhouette visible from a distance. Situated about 2miles from Dufftown on the Cabrach road, you have to look for a signpost on the right hand side and then follow the track all the way to this stunning and romantic castle.
The castle was believed to be built in the mid 15th century by John Stuart, the Earl of Mar. After his murder, the castle passed on to Robert Cochrane, court mason and favorite of King James III. After he was hanged the castle passed to the Ogilvie and Gordon clans. Ownership of the castle passed swiftly through the hands of many people. In 1571 it was the home of Adam Gordon, a staunch supporter of the ousted Mary Queen of Scots. This earned it the epithet Fortress of clan chief ‘Edom o Gordon’.
Auchindoun Castle was sacked and burnt in 1591 by the Mackintoshes in an act of revenge for the murder of the Bonnie Earl of Moray by the Marquis of Huntly and Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun. The castle was subsequently restored but by 1725 it had been abandoned and partly demolished to provide building material. Its corner-stones were taken for use in Balvenie Castle nearby.
Today the ruins of Auchindoun Castle, an L-plan tower house, stand on a hilltop within the earthworks of an Iron Age hill fort. The original structure was three stories high with cellars on the ground level. The hall was on the first floor with the living quarters on the second. Auchindoun Castle is scheduled for restoration. The inner rampart of the fort, formed by ditch and outer bank, is mutilated by approach ramps to the castle on the west and by quarrying on the south. The outer defenses are formed by natural rocky slopes in the east and ditch and outer bank to the north and south. The original rampart was destroyed by cultivation in the west. It is now in the care of Historic Scotland.