Craigievar Castle was the seat of Clan Sempill and the Forbes family resided here for 350 years until 1963, when the property was given to the National Trust for Scotland. The setting is among scenic rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The contrast of its massive lower storey structure to the finely sculpted multiple turrets, gargoyles and high corbelling work create a classic fairytale appearance.

An excellent example of the original Scottish Baronial architecture, the great seven-storey castle was completed in 1626 by the Aberdonian merchant William Forbes. Forbes purchased the partially completed structure from the impoverished Mortimer family in the year 1610.

Designed in the L plan, Craigievar is noted for its exceptionally crafted plasterwork ceilings. The castle originally had more defensive elements including a walled courtyard with four round towers; only one of the round towers remains today. In the arched door to that round tower are preserved the carved initials of Sir Thomas Forbes, William Forbes' son. There is also a massive iron portcullis or gate covering the entrance door which is named a yett.

The estate is open to the public from Easter until the end of September. The castle is strictly guided tours only.

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Founded: 1626
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laura Elizabeth (17 months ago)
Beautiful castle, nice little shop. Lots of space to enjoy being outdoors and seating too. Plenty of parking space.
Elsa (17 months ago)
There is an excellent forested walk associated with the grounds, but if you came for the castle, prepare to be underwhelmed.
Richard Muirhead (2 years ago)
Very nice, how the other half lived. Changed days. A memorable visit. Will definitely return.
David Wilson (2 years ago)
A great castle to visit and the tour guides are very knowledgeable on the history of the building and the family who lived in it. The only downside is that you are not allowed to take photos inside the castle which is a shame as there are some beautiful rooms with interesting artifacts. The castle is in a lovely setting and looks to be very well looked after Worth a visit and a walk around the grounds
Lorraine Allaway (2 years ago)
Would have left a better review had we actually made it to the castle. After following signs ended up a farm track entrance which was not accessible to cars, no where to park, and as I am disabled was not willing to walk however many miles it was to the castle. Until signage is improved wont try to visit again.
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