FINDLATER CASTLE

Banffshire

Findlater Castle, Nairnshire

Findlater is Gaelic for 'white cliff' as the cliffs on which it is built are rich in quartz. The first record of a Castle here is around 1246 and this was strengthened in the early 1260s by Alexander III who was expecting an invasion by King Hâkon IV of Norway. Hâkon did invade, and the Vikings do seem to have occupied Findlater Castle but they were defeated soon after at the Battle of Largs. Exactly what became of the Castle after that is unclear.

Most of the rather broken remains that stand today are thought to belong to a rebuild of the 1450s by Sir Walter Ogilvy which most likely did re-use some of the earlier structure. In 1560 Sir John Gordon was sold the Castle and in 1562 the Gordons rose in rebellion against Mary, Queen of Scots. Findlater Castle was besieged by Mary and after her victory over the Gordons at Corrichie in October of that year Sir John Gordon was executed and the Castle returned to the Ogilvies.

By this time, though, the Ogilvies were disinterested in living in the bleak conditions at Findlater and they abandoned it in favour of nearby Cullen House and from that time on the privations of the isolated and exposed position plus locals quarrying for stone have robbed the Castle of much of its stonework.

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2017


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