Auchindoun Castle

Dufftown, United Kingdom

While there is evidence of prehistoric or Pictish earthworks in the grounds of the Auchindoun Castle, the remains most visible today are of the castle constructed in the mid-15th century. This building is sometimes said to be the work of Robert Cochrane, a favourite of James III. It passed to the Clan Ogilvy in 1489 and from them to the Clan Gordon in 1535.

The castle was damaged by the Clan MacKintosh in 1592 in retaliation for the Earl of Huntly's killing of the Bonny Earl O'Moray, their ally. In March 1593 Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun was forfeited as a rebel, and Auchindoun Castle was given to Sir George Home, whose wife Elizabeth Gordon was Patrick Gordon's stepdaughter.

After the battle of Glenlivet in October 1594 the wounded followers of the Earl of Huntly came to Auchindoun for safety. James VI ordered that Auchindoun, Slains Castle, Huntly Castle, and the Gordon castles of Abergeldy and Newton should be slighted or demolished.

In 1689, during the first Jacobite rising, the castle was used as a temporary headquarters (on 6–7 June 1689) by John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee and his Jacobite army. However, the castle was derelict by 1725. Stones taken from the castle were used in local farm buildings and nearby Balvenie Castle.

While standing, the castle had a large central tower and high curtain wall. Supporting buildings including a stable, brewery and bakery stood inside the wall. A second round tower guarded the northwest corner of the compound. Cellars and possibly dungeons were dug directly into the bedrock beneath the tower. Today much of the curtain wall and some of the outbuildings remain, but the central tower itself is very dilapidated.

An extension is known to have been added in the 16th century by the Gordons before the Ogilvys reclaimed it in 1594. Stones taken from the castle have been used in local farm buildings and nearby Balvenie Castle.

On the completion of consolidation works, Auchindoun was re-opened for public viewing in November 2007.



Your name


Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

William Pettifer (12 months ago)
3/8/21 Interesting little free to enter site to visit. Has brilliant views of rural Moray, castle is good to expose, even though it’s small and very family friendly. Also a very good spot for a picnic. You will need to walk a bit but it is worth it.
George Wilson (17 months ago)
Auchindoun stands on a high bank overlooking the River Fiddich. It has a massive range of earthworks, which by the looks of things hides walls which are far earlier than stated on the boards within the castle. Like all these castles when they fell into abandonment, they were used as quarries for anyone in need of stone. In its heyday the tower would have been a fairly sophisticated stronghold. The castle has a series of fine stone vaults and the stonework looks more like its older than the 1400s if compared to Balvenie and monuments which surround the area. The castle consists of the remains of an L-planned, four-storey tower house set within a rectangular wall. The tower was evidently a structure of fine vaulted ceilings as seen on the first-floor. The tower’s design and architectural details point to a construction date in the 13/1400s, the likelihood of a previous structure is highly likely. As when you arrive and view the surrounding area you become aware of anything that would dare to approach would be seen miles away. I highly reccommend visiting the site, which has an air of history and foreboding. It would be good to see some improvement in historical facts, and the number if information boards by Historic Environment Scotland. The new boards produced by their team would vastly enhanced what is a very well visited site.
Vicky Dunbar (2 years ago)
Lovely ruin and a nice walk from the parking area. Glorious views and the grass is well kept. Take a picnic rug, a bite to eat and a flask and enjoy the rolling hills all around you
Sue Ruddick (2 years ago)
Liked this Castle built within a wall. Drove up dirt track to small car park and 10 min walk to Castle. Beautiful views from top of hill. Well worth a visit
Jay Butler (2 years ago)
Another stunning castle in the Scottish countryside, not ideal for pushchairs or wheelchairs as there is a steep narrow path leading up to the castle but if your able to get up to it it's well worth it. Car park is small but it isn't very busy so was more than adequate when I visited. There are information boards to read about the castle and lots of ruins to see very interesting and a great place to pass an hour or two. The views around the castle are stunning infact probably the best I've ever seen. Well worth a visit!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.

The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.