Coull Castle, Aberdeenshire
Coull Kirk, SE of Tarland
Coull Castle was one of three castles built by the Durwood family on a commanding position along the northern approach to Aboyne, overlooking the Tarland Burn. This 13th century castle served as their principal seat in Mar until it was destroyed during the Wars of Independence. Today this courtyard castle, similar in design to the more impressive Kildrummy Castle, is a forgotten ruin used for cattle grazing, found along an unkept footpath from Coull church, where with consideration you can park and take the short walk to the ruin.
~ History ~
1228 ~ King Alexander II decides to break up the Earldom of Mar between rival claimants, and in doing so grants Thomas Durwood substantial lands, referred to as the Barony of O'Neill. Later, the building of the castle begins.
Thomas's son Alan, participates in the King's campaign to crush the insurrention of the Mac Williams claim to the throne.
He later marries Marjory, an illegitimate daughter of King Alender II.
1233 ~ Alan is given control of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, and there he builds the castles motte.
He find himself in conflict with the powerful Comyn family . Despite this rivalry Alan is made Justicar of Scotland, along with Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan. Reconsiliation finds the two campaigning together against the Norwegians a few years later.
In his later years, during the minority of King Alexander III, Alan finds favour with King Henry III of England in an effort to retain his power and position in Scotland. King Henry awards the English manor of Bolsover to Alan.
1275 ~ Following the death of Alan Durwood the castle reverts to the Scottish Crown. He is buried in the abbey of Coupar Angus.
1308 ~ Robert the Bruce attacks and destroys the castle following hurried repairs to its walls, so it can never again be held against the Scottish Crown. It is never repaired and left to fall into ruin, to be quarried for its stone by locals.