Birse Castle is located in the Forest of Birse, Aberdeenshire. The original structure was a square three-storey tower house with turrets and a corbelled circular tower at the south east. The building is owned by Viscount Cowdry, Dunecht House, Dunecht, Aberdeen.

The castle was built about 1600 for the Gordons of Cluny. When the Gordons built Birse Castle, they encroached upon The Forest of Birse, which consisted of about 24 farms. Eighteen of these were owned by the Gordons, but the owners of the other six farms did not take too kindly to the Gordons intrusion and burned down the castle about 1640. The castle was a ruin by 1887, but restoration started in 1905. In 1930 a three-storey wing was added.



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Founded: 1600
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


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Elliot Hoare (10 months ago)
Nicholas Bearce (10 months ago)
Birse Castle is an Amazing Place! Both the Building and the Grounds. I was raised in Maine of Bearce family. While traveling in Scotland we were touring Balmoral Castle. While there we were given a personal tour by one of the Gardeners. Prince Andrew was on site and notified of our presence. He came out and met my family found out our names looked at the Gardener and said, "You know what to do!" The little Gardener grinned from ear to ear and informed us of BEARCE or BIRSE Castle very near to Balmoral. He called them up. We were given a brief but full tour of the Castle and the Birse Forest and Birse Kirk or Church. I actually drank from the Birse Cup that was in the original BIRSE CHURCH. We all felt at Home there in Birse. I went back in 1990 and am looking forward to another visit there soon I hope!
Vaida Cikstiene (12 months ago)
Beautiful, peaceful, easy walk, sheep, cows,rabbits, birds...
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The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

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