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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1626
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bill Macdonald (19 months ago)
I was hosting a party of overseas guests on Saturday 23rd March and Craigievar Castle was a ‘must see’ I checked this site and had confirmation of opening times and indeed Google confirmed this by informed me,as I motored there, that I had a certain period of time for my visit!! I arrived to find it closed FOR THE WINTER and not open until the season starts! Black marks to both Craigievar and indeed your goodselves for providing incorrect advice, causing a fifty miles fruitless journey and creating poor hospitality for my guests!
Elina Skudra (19 months ago)
Castle was closed when I visited, but it's beautiful surroundings and had a nice wonder around.
Fiona Baxter (19 months ago)
Not happy, we drove for an hour to get there and it was closed, even though online it said OPEN. Please sort your information out. Very disappointed.
Crystal Copeland (20 months ago)
Visited this beautiful castle in 2017, ( from Nova Scotia, Canada). My maiden name is Forbes so this visit was a dream come true for me. Unfortunately the castle was closed and did not get to go inside. But just being there was amazing for me.
chh (2 years ago)
Fantastic tower house castle in a beautiful location. Offers a unique visitor experience, as there is no artificial lighting inside AND no photography is permitted inside so you really focus on just enjoying and immersing yourself in this historic site!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.