Macduff's Castle

East Wemyss, United Kingdom

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.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julie M (5 months ago)
Not much to see anymore at the castle but still worth a look , also caves nearby to see so on a nice day its nice to go there for a walk and to explore
Dredz Weston (5 months ago)
Not much left but still great to see if you love historical things . Such a pity the council had to knock some of down ,due to a young lad climbing it falling off and dying.
Sean (Kcswimmer) (7 months ago)
It's a bit of a climb if you come from the beach and caves, but it's nice to see what once was. I wish the town had done more to preserve the history or at least cut back the grass so it was easier to explore.
Nitro Fusion (8 months ago)
Amazing bit of history here. More around about too. Only small thing I would complain about is the fact that the gate that is ment to prevent you from getting into the lower level is easy to just climb and get up to where there has been a hole broken in the wall. The people who upkeep this might want to try see if they can make it more difficult or nearly impossible to get into otherwise I can only see some drunk teenagers getting in and an accident happening witch would likely end up in the whole thing being blocked from the public.
Shirley Mcgair (16 months ago)
Nice walking trail, with beautiful views, right on your doorstep
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