Cullen House is a large house, now divided into fourteen separate dwellings, about 1 kilometre south west of the coastal town of Cullen in Moray. Originally built between 1600 and 1602, incorporating some of the fabric of a medieval building on the site, it was the seat of the Ogilvies of Findlater, who went on to become the Earls of Findlater and Seafield, and remained in their family until 1982. The house has been extended and remodelled several times since 1602, by prominent architects such as William Adam, his sons James and John Adam, and David Bryce. It has been described by the architectural historian Charles McKean as 'one of the grandest houses in Scotland'.
The house sits in an expansive estate, enlarged in the 1820s when the entire village of Cullen, save for Cullen Old Church, was demolished to make way for improvements to the grounds by Lewis Grant-Ogilvy, 5th Earl of Seafield. A new village, closer to the coast, was constructed for the inhabitants.
Cullen House was designated a Category A listed building in 1972, by which time it had fallen into a state of disrepair. Its contents were sold in 1975, and in 1982 it was purchased by Kit Martin, a specialist in saving historic buildings, who worked with the local architect Douglas Forrest to convert it into fourteen individual dwellings, while retaining much of the original interior of the building. The house was badly damaged by fire in 1987, and underwent an extensive programme of restoration that lasted until 1989.References:
Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".