Castle Roy is one of the oldest castles of its type in Scotland unique in that it is largely unaltered, whilst most other castles have been extensively modified over the centuries. The castle is thought to have been built at some point in the early 13th century, replacing an earlier wooden motte and bailey keep of Norman influenced design. In accordance with its early design it is one of Scotland’s simplest forts consisting of four curtain walls, about 7 ft. thick, forming a square. Presumably the walls defended a number of timber buildings which have since disappeared. One theory is that Castle Roy was built by James, son of the Earl of Mar, in 1226, after having receiving the title of Lord of Abernethy from King Alexander II. It may have become a residence of the powerful Comyn family, rivals of the famed King Robert the Bruce.

In 1548 the Castle was named in the Charter of the Earldom of Moray and therefore possibly it was still in use, although in the era of gunpowder will only have been of use as a fortified shelter.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kieran (9 months ago)
A short walk from Nethy Bridge village, Castle Roy a 12th century fort located next to a small, well-maintained churchyard with excellent views of the surrounding Cairngorms mountains. It is rarely too busy and is a beautiful piece of History on the Speyside way, well worth visiting in any season. Entrance is free, and the main attraction, is of course, "Murdo the Heilan' Coo", who resides on the grounds of castle along with a sheep named buster. It is a great place to spend an afternoon for picnics overlooking the scenic highlands, or as a base for any of the many beautiful walks in the area. Be sure to listen out for the sounds of Strathspey railway, enjoy the wildflower areas surrounding the castle, and read up on some of the local history from the various information boards around the castle. The site is maintained mostly through donations and if you can spare any, you'll be putting it towards a great cause. The people who run this site really have a heart for preserving this beautiful little spot. .
aloobi (10 months ago)
It was nice to come here to see the castle and the highland coo. We walked around the area and enjoyed the scenery. Scotland never failed to amaze us. You can park the car at the entrance. Entry is free. No tickets are needed.
Gower Brown (10 months ago)
It is a small site, but it is worth visiting. The Highland Cow was a nice roadside surprise. The site was very clean and well kept. I believe they also permit overnight parking.
Tracy Bardugon (11 months ago)
Epic and unexpected fine! Castle Roy is graced by Murdo, the Heiglan’ Coo and Buster the sheep. The castle sits on top of a hill and has a small car park. The castle itself had some great informational signs and some WILD history (never mess with a Wolf, I learned.) Murdo and Buster lounge and make the wander around the walls incredibly enjoyable. Would recommend. Don’t forget to make a donation on your way out to support such an awesome place :)
Teresa C. (12 months ago)
A great little castle ruin to visit and you get to say hello to their sheep and highland cow! The site is free to visit but donation is appreciated. The drive to the site is beautiful...definitely worth the stop.
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