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Kildrummy Castle

Overview

Kildrummy Castle was built in the 13th century and was home to the Earls of Mar for about 2 centuries. It was then inhabited by the Stewarts, Elphinstones and Erskines before being abandoned in 1715 during the first Jacobite uprising. After the Jacobite rebellions, Kildrummy castle was deliberately dismantled as a source of stone for other building projects and it continued to be used as little more than quarry until the early 1800's. 

It is a pity that the castle suffered this end as it would have been a huge and impressive structure in its hey day. At its peak, Kildrummy had a thick curtain wall, six towers and a gate, and the curiously named "Snow Tower" had 7 storeys and was probably where the Lord and his family lived. The name "Snow Tower" perhaps comes from the light coloured stone that was used in its construction.

The castle has seen a lot of conflict and changed ownership many times throughout its history. One of the most gruesome events that took place here was during the Scottish Wars of Independence in 1306. King Robert the Bruce's brother, Nigel Bruce, had captured the castle from the forces of Edward I of England. Edward returned and laid seige to the castle and then recaptured it after bribing one of Nigel's men to turn traitor and set fire to it from the inside. According to the story, the Traitor was paid in gold, but the gold was given to him molten and poured down his throat!

Today, Kildrummy Castle is a ruin and you need to use your imagination. We wouldn’t suggest that you make much of a detour to visit this castle when the much better Craigievar Castle is nearby. 

The nearby Gardens of Kildrummy Castle Hotel were created in the ancient quarry below the castle. The bridge spanning the garden is a copy of the Brig o' Balgownie, which is a 13th century bridge in Aberdeen that crosses the River Don. If you are a photographer, you’ll find scenes that will make for good photo opportunities.  The gardens also offer one of the best views of Kildrummy Castle as they are opposite the most complete section of wall.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass

Address:

Kildrummy, Alford, Aberdeen-shire AB33 8RA

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April to 30 September, Daily, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (last entry 5pm) / October - March: Closed

Admission:

Castle: Adult £ 6.00, Child £ 3.60, Senior £ 4.80

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

N/A

Accessibility:

Uneven grounds at both the castle and the gardens

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

No, but there is the Kildrummy Castle Hotel and Kildrummy Inn nearby.

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