New Slains Castle, to distinguish it from nearby Old Slains Castle, was originally a 16th-century tower house, built by the 9th Earl of Erroll. The wings around the courtyard were extended in 1664 by addition of a gallery or corridor, and in 1707 the entrance front was renewed.

In the 1830s the 18th Earl commissioned the Aberdeen architect John Smith to remodel the castle. This resulted in a virtual rebuilding of Slains in a Scots Baronial style, including granite facings, in 1836–1837. Gardens were laid out in the late 1890s.


At first inspection the ruin appears to be a blend of several different architectural styles and periods, due to diverse masonry including older mortared granite, mortared medieval red brick, mortared sandstone and newer well faced granite. In fact most of the architecture seems to derive from a rather cohesive interval 1597 to 1664, which construction is the most expansive and includes the mortared rough granite and medieval brick. The 1836 work adds smoother granite facing that contrasts with the older construction style.

The defensive works of the castle include use of the North Sea cliffs; an abyss to the west that functions as a deep impassable moat; and a ruined rampart that would have been the main entrance on the south. The ruins include reasonably well preserved elements of three- and four-storey structural elements and a basement course over some of the range, especially at the eastern side. There are well-preserved basement kitchen works with numerous firepits and masonry indented storage spaces. The internal doorways are primarily of well-preserved wooden lintel construction, with numerous examples of mortared sandstone and medieval brickwork archways. The interior of the ground level is a maze of passageways and smaller rooms, reflecting a high state of occupancy in 17th-century times.



Your name


Founded: c. 1597
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sam Cooper (2 years ago)
Went here late one evening recently to try and catch the Northern Lights. Amazing dark-sky location. Plan on going back during the day and fully exploring the Castle.
Mitchell Kennedy (2 years ago)
A truly wild tourist experience. This is a ruin of the hotel which once was Old Slains Castle. You need to be careful here - around windows, the surviving tower, and of course the sheer cliffs. Not advisable for small children or dogs, but great for everyone else. It's best to leave the car in the car park, but if absolutely necessary it is possible to park right at the castle.
Derek Coull (2 years ago)
An iconic location for photographers and castle hunters that comes with a caution. Unprotected cliff edges make this place dangerous to visit. Great care should be taken when visiting this place. The castle itself is very interesting and is famous for inspiring Bram Stoker for his novel Dracula and when you see the place you can almost imagine that cinematic lightning bolt in the sky behind its formidable shape. 2 stars given due to dangers at this site.
Rob Kempton (2 years ago)
Amazing Castle that's open to explore! Not only does it sit on a gorgeous cliffside, it's also free to wander around on your own. There are also reports that show the Bram stoker's Dracula was partly inspired by this place. Really cool and a must see!
Mohamed Arab (2 years ago)
This is a truly unique experience. The castle is beautiful and easy to explore on your own or with a friend. Free of charge, you can walk through the ruins and the surrounding area, catch picturesque views and enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks below the cliff. There is plenty to see and do in the area too - you can't go wrong with this.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Augustusburg Palace

Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.

In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.

UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.

In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.