Barra Castle, Aberdeenshire
2 miles south of Oldmeldrum
A prehistoric fort on Barra Hill, defended by three concentric earthworks, and long called ` Cumines Camp, ' is traditionally connected with the victory of Barra, gained by King Robert the Bruce over Comyn Earl of Buchan, the Englishman Sir John Mowbray, and Sir David de Brechin.
Today the castle of Barra is a beautiful location for weddings and provides luxury accommodation, as well as growing and selling of strawberries and other produce through its farm shop.
~ History ~
1308 ~ Near Barra Castle Robert the Bruce lays sick at Inverurie, but roused by a foray by his arch enemy and rivals, the Comyns from Old Meldrum, he demands to be mounted and with his force of 700 men routes his enemy some 1000 strong. His forces chase them far and wide before sweeping down on the lands of the Comyn's, burning and harrying all before them. The lands of Barra pass into the hands of the King.
1548 ~ A charter is issued on Barra passing it from William King to his son James. Among the witnesses to this transaction are his neighbours, William Seton of Meldrum and William Blackhall and his son Alexander Blackhall.
1590 ~ A bond is registered by Alexander King, in which Sir Walter Ogilvy of Findlater Castle, is cautioner for Alexander King and other members of his family at Barra, that Alexander Seton of Meldrum, William Strachan and their kin should not molest them. This bond only enhances the feud into open hostility which ends in the murder of Alexander Seton, heir apparent to Meldrum.
Despite the Kings eventually selling Barra to the Seton's, the family feud continues.
1598 ~ A charter is awarded to George Seton, tutor of Meldrum, for the provision of Barra to become a free barony.
1615 ~ George Seton of Barra, Chancellor of Aberdeen, of the " fortalice of Barra " is ordained to be the chief seat of the free barony.
Elizabeth Seton pursues through the courts James King for the slaughter of her father, Alexander, and in doing so continues the feud.
1627 ~ George Seton dies. The castle and lands pass to his nephew William Seton, the last of the Seton's of Meldrum.
1630 ~ William sells the castle to James Reid, who's grandson is later created a baronet.
1753 ~ The castle passes to the Ramsay family. It later passes through marriage to the Forbes-Irvine family of Drum Castle.