Ballindalloch Castle has been the family home of Macpherson-Grants since 1546. The first tower of the Z plan castle was built in 1546.

In 1590 the widow of the Grant of Ballindalloch married John Gordon, son Thomas Gordon of Cluny. John Grant, former Tutor of Ballindaloch, the administrator of the estate, killed one of John Grant's servants. This started a feud between the Earl of Huntly and the Earl of Moray. The Earl of Huntly went to Ballindalloch in November 1590 to arrest the Tutor. The Chief of Grant, John Grant of Freuchie promised to deliver the Tutor and his accomplices, accused of murder and other crimes, to Huntly Castle. However, Freuchie joined with the Tutor's men and the Earl of Moray, and came to Darnaway Castle, and there shot pistols at Huntly's officers and cannon from the castle, and killed John Gordon, brother of the Laird of Cluny.

After it was plundered and burned by James Graham, the first Marquess of Montrose, it was restored in 1645.

Extensions were added in 1770 by General James Grant of the American Wars of Independence (whose ghost is said to haunt the castle) and in 1850 by the architect Thomas MacKenzie. Further extensions carried out in 1878 were mostly demolished during modernisations enacted in 1965. It has been continuously occupied by the Russell and Macpherson-Grant families throughout its existence.

The castle houses an important collection of 17th century Spanish paintings. The dining room of Ballindalloch is said to be haunted by a ghost known as The Green Lady.

The castle grounds contain a 20th-century rock garden and a 17th-century dovecote. The rivers Spey and Avon flow through the grounds, offering excellent fishing. The famous Aberdeen Angus cattle herd resides in the castle estate.

Today, the castle is still occupied by the Macpherson-Grant family. It is open to tourists during the summer months and a number of workshops on its grounds are in active use.

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Banffshire, United Kingdom
See all sites in Banffshire

Details

Founded: 1546
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Neil Smith (3 months ago)
Beautiful gardens even in October. A lovely cafe serving wonderful food, recommend the Aberdeen Angus sandwich.
David Barnett (4 months ago)
Lovely gardens. Had lentil and carrot soup and sandwiches which were great.
Z (4 months ago)
Couldn't go inside due to Covid. Gardens are very nice. When we visited there were very few people around. I enjoyed the riverside walk the most. So peaceful and tranquil. It was nice to watch the local fishermen cast their lines.
Maddy (4 months ago)
Excellent gardens These gardens are stunning with super walks around the grounds and river area. The walled garden in particular is stunning and lovingly tended to. Entry is currently priced at £6 per person is a good price, well worth a day out, even though in lockdown some of the activities such as go karting are not in operation. There is also a little playground which would be good for kids.
James Kistruck (6 months ago)
Had a pleasant couple of hours wandering round the grounds and trying the tea room. Walled garden a peaceful haven; 'labyrinth' more for dogs and young kids but still fun. Toilets surprisingly smart. Castle was shut due to Covid, but a bonus was the cafe was quiet. Great value cakes!
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