Duffus Castle, Moray
B-road off B9012
Duffus Castle is one of the best examples of a 12th century motte and bailey castle in the whole of Scotland. In addition to its earthworks and strong walls, it was once protected by a wet moat that has long since been drained.
One of the most noticeable and interesting features is its partially collapsed keep, built on a motte not strong enough to take its full weight.
There is plenty of parking available at or approaching the castle, from which a short walk will take you to the castle.
~ History ~
1140's ~ King David I grants Duffus to Freskin, a Flemin Lord of Strabock, who erects a motte and bailey earthwork and timber castle.
1151 ~ King David visits the castle to supervise the construction of his new Cistercian Abbey at Kinloss.
1286 ~ Sir Reginald Cheyne obtains the castle by marrying Helen, one of the three heiresses of the line of Freskin.
1290 ~ The castle shelters the English Commissioners sent by King Edward I to welcome the infant Queen Margaret to Scotland from Norway. Sir Reginald later supports King Edward I in his campaigns in Scotland and subsequently suffers damage to his lands and castle as a result.
1297 ~ The Scots slight the castle.
1305 ~ King Edward I grants the loyal Reginald 200 oaks from his Royal forests to repair his castle.
1350 ~ Mary Cheyne, heiress to Duffus castle, brings the castle within the control of her husband, the 4th Earl of Sutherlands extensive estates. During this period the castle is rebuilt in stone.
1452 ~ The castle is burnt by the forces of the rebel Douglas Earl of Moray.
1645 ~ The lands of Duffus are plundered by Royalist forces.
1689 ~ Viscount Dundee, leader of the first Jacobite Rising, dines in the castle as a guest of James, Lord Duffus, prior to his victory against King William II’s government forces at the Battle of Killiecrankie.
1705 ~ The Sutherlands sell the castle to Sir Archibald Dunbar.