CastleEuropeScotland

Slains Castle

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HISTORY

It is a castle from the 7th and 18th centuries, currently in ruins, located in Cruden Bay, in the region of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. Situated on top of a cliff, it overlooks the North Sea. Its history is linked to that of the Hay family, coming from Normandy. The Hays received the title of Earls of Erroll in the mid-15th century. They were supporters of James VI, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, until he became a Protestant. By this time the 9th Earl of Erroll, a fervent Catholic, led an attack on horseback against the forces of the King, who was so enraged by the betrayal that he marched north and sacked and destroyed with cannon the Earl's castles between the which Old Slains. The Earl was then forced to spend a few years in exile and when he returned to Scotland, instead of renovating the Old Slains, he decided to build a new castle (which he called the New Slains) around a tower that the Hays owned on the site. In 1708 the last male of the line, the 13th Earl of Erroll, had no heirs and left the castle to his sister, who also had no children. From then on, the title began to be passed on to nephews and nieces.

WHY THIS PLACE

The castle was expanded and rebuilt between 1836 and 1837 and was owned by the Earls of Erroll until 1916, when the 20th Earl sold it to pay inheritance tax. The new owner, however, ended up giving up on its maintenance and had the roof removed in the 1920s. After that, the building fell into disrepair. At first glance, these ruins seem to be a mixture of several architectural styles, as they present different construction techniques, which use raw materials typical of different times, such as ancient mortar granite, mortared medieval red brick and mortar sandstone. In fact, though, most of the architecture appears to date back to a fairly cohesive range, from 1597 to 1664. Work from 1836 added a softer granite finish, which contrasts with the finish of the older parts of the building.

CURIOSITIES

In the basements there is a well-kept kitchen with two working fireplaces. The interior of the castle consists of numerous passages and small rooms. Plans to restore the castle have been on hold since 2009.

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