Spynie Castle was the fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century. It is situated about 500m from the location of the first officially settled Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Moray, in present-day Spynie Churchyard.

The first castle was a wooden structure built in the late 12th century. The excavated evidence suggests that the buildings were surrounded by a rectangular ringwork and ditch which seem to have enclosed an area of roughly the same as the 14th-century curtain wall, i.e., an enclosure of 45 – 65m and is large even by medieval ringworks found elsewhere in Britain. It is likely that the buildings would have consisted of the bishop's house with a hall, a bed chamber and a chapel and also holding a brewhouse and a bakehouse.

The stone buildings first appeared in the 13th century with the establishment of what was thought to have been a chapel and which had coloured glass windows. The remaining wooden buildings were gradually replaced with stone, and this continued through into the 14th century when the first main castle building was erected. This was a near-square structure built within a 7-metre-high curtain wall.

The most significant buildings were established in the later 15th century through into the 16th century when David's Tower was built along with other substantial accommodation areas. The tower is the largest by volume of all medieval Scottish towers measuring 19m by 13.5m and 22m.

Following the restoration of Episcopacy to the Scottish Church in 1662 ownership of the castle passed back to the church, but it was starting to fall into decay.

Major work to stabilise the structure was undertaken during the late 1970s using a large scaffold. Ultimately a curtain wall was reinstated disguising a large concrete plinth that prevents the tower from collapsing.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Elgin, United Kingdom
See all sites in Elgin

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrew Lawson (8 months ago)
Beautiful medieval Palace in ruins but still pretty good shape considering its age. Lots of interesting features and history. Well worth a visit. Some of it is closed off completely but lots of it you an still get into. I htink you have to pay during nornal hours and its closed for covid at the moment.
Sue savage (16 months ago)
Fantastic had a great day out here, the place is very large and a lot more intact than I expected.
Andrew Murphy (17 months ago)
Hidden away in a beautiful location. The site is well kept and has interesting historical significance. The staff member on duty when I visited was friendly and very knowledgeable and took the time to have a chat about the site and other sites in the area. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys soaking up some of Scotland's rich history.
Kevin Mclelland (2 years ago)
Staff were very knowledgeable and helpful any questions were met with good informative answers and suggestions. There is surprising rooms to find and the signs give a good idea to imagine what once was. It's crazy to think there was a 5 mile loch at the base of the palace that has now vanished. You can climb up to the very top of the tower and you are presented with a glorious view of the surrounding area from elgin to lossiemouth. Well worth a visit plenty of areas to stop and have a picnic. This site is fully dog friendly and there is a disabled toilet provided.
Elisabeth Schallehn (2 years ago)
It's a great place. I liked the peaceful atmosphere with its prehistoric feel around it which was different to the actual side. The side does not feel clerical but like a castle
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Regensburg Sausage Kitchen

The Historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg (Wurstküche) is notable as perhaps the oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world. In 1135 a building was erected as the construction office for the Regensburg stone bridge. When the bridge was finished in 1146 AD, the building became a restaurant named Garkueche auf dem Kranchen ("cookshop near the crane") as it was situated near the then river port. Dockers, sailors and the staff of the nearby St. Peter cathedral workshop were the regulars for the centuries to come. The present building at this location dates from the 17th century, but archaeological evidence has confirmed the existence of a previous building from the 12th century with about the same dimensions.

Until ca. AD 1800, the specialty was boiled meat, but when the family who currently own the restaurant took over in 1806, charcoal grilled sausages were introduced as the main dish offered. The kitchen still operates today and serves 6,000 sausages to guests daily.