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- Category: A
- Date Added: 24/11/1972
- Local Authority: Aberdeenshire
- Planning Authority: Aberdeenshire
- Parish: Crathie And Braemar
- National Park: Cairngorms
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NO 28709 95281
- Coordinates: 328709, 795281
Circa 1550. Now unusually detailed 4-storey tower house with striking flat roofed stair tower containing later ogee roofed belfry, and with Venetian window to S and arched granite doorway to ground. Granite rubble with pink harl. Situated in secluded site, on the S bank of the River Dee. Round stair tower in SW corner, corbelled out to square cap house at top which opens out to viewing platform with iron railing. Venetian window to S façade, with gabled dormerhead breaking the eaves. Crow-stepped gables and corbelled turret to NE with candle-snuffer roof. Gun-loops to N, E and S.
Primarily timber 12-pane sash and case windows to house, small slit windows to stair tower. Grey slate. Moulded skewputts. Gable stack to E with canted coping. Tall gable stack tot W with S side abutting stair tower. Iron rainwater goods. Timber door with tirling-pin.
Cheese press with weights to garden to S.
INTERIOR: partially seen (2005). Vaulted ground floor with large fireplace (c.20 m.) and straight flue. Pit prison under stair. Great hall and further rooms above.
COTTAGES: detached row of single storey and attic cottages to W of castle. Attic storey breaking wallhead. Harled. Predominantly gabled dormers with skew putts. Mostly timber sash and case windows.
GAME LARDER: single storey square game larder with pyramidal roof and bell cast eaves. Harled granite rubble. Base course. 2-leaf timber door to E and long slit windows with mesh coverings to all sides. Grey slate. Interior believed to be intact. (owner information 2005). This may be a dairy.
BOUNDARY WALLS: granite rubble with plain coping.
Statement of Special Interest
This 16th century tower house retains many original features and is particularly distinguished by the early nineteenth century additions of the belfry and Venetian window. The castle has been in the possession of the Gordon family since 1482. It was leased to the Royal Family from 1848 - 1970 and was greatly extended by James Henderson in the nineteenth century and subsequently during the years of royal occupation. Early twentieth century photographs of the castle show a sequence of buildings to the W. All of these additions were removed in the 1969 to leave only the tower house. The cupola was added by the Gordons in the early nineteenth century, having seen examples in Italy. A local legend suggests that Katy Rankin, tried as a witch, was kept chained up here in the pit dungeon below the stairs before being hanged on the nearby hill.
1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1866). Groome¿s Gazetteer (1892), p25. MacGibbon and Ross, Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland (1887-1892), Vol III pp54-55. J Geddes, Deeside and the Mearns; An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2001), p133. D Simpson, Abergeldie Castle (undated essay). Information courtesy of the owner (2005).
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