MacDuff's Castle ruins is associated with the MacDuff Earls of Fife, the most powerful family in Fife in the Middle Ages.
It is thought that a castle may have been built here by the MacDuff Mormaers, or Earls, of Fife in the 11th century, at the time of King Macbeth of Scotland (d. 1057). The Wemyss family, descendants of the MacDuffs, owned the property from the 14th century, and built the earliest part of the present castle. Edward I of England paid a visit here in 1304, staying with Sir Michael Wemyss. However, Wemyss later joined forces with Robert the Bruce, and Edward ordered the castle to be destroyed.
After the Wemyss family moved to nearby Wemyss Castle, it passed to the Livingstones, and then in 1530 it was taken over by the Colvilles who built a second tower to the south-west, and enclosed a courtyard with a gatehouse. In 1637 the castle was bought by Sir John Wemyss of West Wemyss, from Lord Colville of Culross, and in 1651 the lands of East and West Wemyss were united as a single barony.
The ruins formerly comprised the remains of a four-storey 14th-century tower, and a five-storey 16th-century tower. The two were connected by 16th-century gatehouse range, with 17th-century walls containing gun loops. However the eastern tower was demolished by Fife County Council in 1967 after a child was injured falling from it. The castle is supposedly haunted by a 'Grey Lady', said to be a Mary Sibbald who was found guilty of theft and died in the castle. The castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. A 16th-century dovecote formerly stood at the edge of the shore to the south of the castle, but was destroyed by sea erosion in the 1970s. The castle remains the property of the Wemyss Estate.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".