The ruined Kildrummy Castle is one of the most extensive castles dating from the 13th century to survive in eastern Scotland, and was the seat of the Earls of Mar. It is owned today by Historic Scotland and open to the public.

The castle was probably built in the mid-13th century under Gilbert de Moravia. It has been posited that siting of Kildrummy Castle was influenced by the location of the Grampian Mounth trackway crossings, particularly the Elsick Mounth and Cryne Corse Mounth. Kildrummy Castle underwent siege numerous times in its history, first in defence of the family of Robert the Bruce in August–September 1306 (leading to the executions of Nigel Bruce and many other Scots), and again in 1335 by David of Strathbogie. On this occasion Christina Bruce held off the attackers until her husband Sir Andrew Murray came to her rescue. In the reign of David II, Walter Maule of Panmure was warden of Kildrummy Castle.

In 1374 the castle's heiress Isobel was seized and married by Alexander Stewart, who then laid claim to Kildrummy and the title of Earl of Mar. In 1435 it was taken over by James I, becoming a royal castle until being granted to Lord Elphinstone in 1507.

The castle passed from the Clan Elphinstone to the Clan Erskine before being abandoned in 1716 following the failure of the Jacobite rebellion.

Kildrummy Castle is 'shield-shaped' in plan with a number of independent towers. The flat side of the castle overlooks a steep ravine; moreover, on the opposite side of the castle the walls come to a point, which was once defended by a massive twin-towered gatehouse. The castle also had a keep, called the Snow Tower, taller than the other towers, built in the French style, as at Bothwell Castle. Extensive earthworks protected the castle, including a dry moat and the ravine. Most of the castle foundations are now visible, along with most of its lower-storey walls. Archaeological excavations in 1925 uncovered decorative stone flooring and evidence of battles.

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

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Morag Thompson (3 years ago)
The gardens are amazing , what a wonderful place to walk around.
Jane Morgan (4 years ago)
Fantastic place to stay. Service excellent and the food in the restaurant was very good. Room very comfortable and large. 3 lovely lounges to sit in. Only 1 minor issue they need to get their wifi sorted out.
Christine Lawtie (4 years ago)
Was a beautiful sunny day and we were able to sit outside. Organic surroundings in country location. Lovely friendly staff. The inside of the Hotel was inspiring especially the staircase. The Hotel decor is original and authentic. Very romantic setting ❤
Christine Duda (4 years ago)
Absolutely fabulous! Food was amazing, beautiful grounds and incredible staff. Highly recommended!! :)
Vicky Hoover (4 years ago)
Loved this Castle Hotel! Very upscale, clean and beautiful! The staff were awesome. Truly enjoyed the lovely lady who checked us in, sorry I didn't get her name.
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