Gordon Castle is located near Fochabers in Moray. Historically known as the Bog-of-Gight or Bog o'Gight, it was the principal seat of the Dukes of Gordon. Following 18th-century redevelopment, it became one of the largest country houses ever built in Scotland, although much has since been demolished.

The original castle was built by George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly in the 1470s and enlarged by his grandson and George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly. An inventory of the contents from November 1648 mentions lavish beds and a 'hen house', a parrot cage in the long gallery.

Architect John Adam was commissioned, alongside the French architect Abraham Roumieu, to redesign the castle in 1764 but this did not come to fruition. Eventually the commission fell to the lesser-known Edinburgh architect, John Baxter, who rebuilt it in 1769 for Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon. The central four storey block incorporated a six-storey medieval tower called the Bog-of-Gight, and was flanked by a pair of two-storey wings. The main facade was 173 metres long. Following the deaths of the 7th and 8th Dukes within a decade of one another the Gordon Estates 73,000 hectares were put up for sale by the 9th Duke to pay the enormous death duties. The majority of the contents of the castle were sold and most of the castle was demolished, but the 16th-century tower of Bog-of-Gight and one of the wings, now a detached medium sized country house in its own right, survive.



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Fochabers, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1764
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

A Smith (3 months ago)
Stayed at the Quarry Gardens Lodge. Unfortunately there was a wasp nest inside the roof of the property that allowed them into the internal property. While the house itself is lovely and the location is well worth a visit. I would avoid this place simply for the host (Kyra) who sent someone to fill the hole in the roof. But did nothing about them coming into the property. Tried resolving this through both Airbnb and talking directly to Kyra (a futile experience) and have been left with no option but to share this experience. If you have no issues during your stay you will have a great time. But the trip was ruined by Kyra and her attitude towards issues raised. Not recommended.
Steve French (3 months ago)
Beautiful place in Morayshire. The Garden is gorgeous. Find some time for a coffee and a wonderful sticky toffee pudding in the Cafe.
The stars (4 months ago)
Having worked in the kitchen there, until my first ever visit as a customer. I'm rather shocked at how this place seems to have gone downhill. Angus and Zara are at the top of their game and really do mean well. However after constantly urging my partner to join me for lunch at a place I considered to be the best place to eat in moray. She carefully explained, that it wasn't that great. I had to agree with her, The service, the attentive staff and such a beautiful place is what has given this review it's 3 star rating, if it wasn't for their hospitality or the walled gardens grandeur I had left a review of just 1 star. The food was appalling for such a place. Lukewarm and soggy while most dishes should be crisp and delightful. Even the website looks awful. I haven't lost faith in this place though and I'll be back again for potentially my last visit. Even the website looked horrible. Reminiscent of websites 10 year's ago, Come on Gordon Castle you can do better than this!!
Susan Ballantyne (5 months ago)
Poor lunch very dissapointed. No fish in cull n skink or cream. Wooden cuttlery and doorsteps of oatcakes. Yuk
Stephanie (9 months ago)
Stayed at Quarry Gardens Lodge for over 2 weeks and I couldn’t recommend it more highly! This estate is incredible, the people are wonderful, and the cottage was perfect. It’s beautifully finished, spacious, clean, and cozy. I miss it! I hope to be back again. The location is also amazing. I hadn’t known much about this area, but Speyside has some of the most incredible landscapes within and nearby. There is so much to do and see, especially if you enjoy the outdoors.
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Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.