Fetternear Palace

Fetternear Palace, Aberdeenshire


Kemnay, Inverurie


Minor road off B993


AB51 5LY

Fetternear Palace is a fabuolous ruin that unfortunately you cannot get access to fully explore due to its ruinous state and on private land.

However you are able to get access to the adjacent field and from the public path. Even today after nearly a hundred years left to ruin, an impressive building.

~ History ~

1157 ~ Pope Adrian IV confirms that the manor and lands of Fetternear belong to Edward, Bishop of Aberdeen.

1242 ~ King Alexander II of Scotland designates that the lands of Fetternear as a free forest, granted to Ralph, Bishop of Aberdeen.

1297 ~ William Wallace stays at Fetternear.

1330s ~ Randolph, Bishop of Aberdeen, builds himself a tower house at Fetternear, which is completed by Bishop Kyninmund.

1549 ~ Bishop William Gordon leases the barony of Fetternear to his kinsman the Earl of Huntly and later John Leslie, 8th Baron of Balquhain.

1557 ~  A group of Scottish lords opposed to the marriage of the young Queen Mary of Scotland to the Dauphin of France and future King Francis II of France  sign the 'First Band' or Covenant to work to make Scotland Protestant.The initial members are the Earl of Argyll, his brother Colin Campbell, the Earl of Glencairn, the Earl of Morton, and John Erskine of Dun. Others soon follow.

Following religious riots in Perth, the Lords gain support and provid military help to John Knox in opposing the troops of Mary of Guise. Near Cupar, in Fife, the Lords field enough military strength to face off a combined French and Scottish army. 

1559 ~ William Leslie, 9th Baron, Sherrif of Aberdeenshire, protects the Bishop and his cathedral against the marauding Congregation army, who sweep into Aberdeen after taking Edinburgh.

French re-inforcements push the Lords and their Protestant Congregation army back to Stirling and Fife.

1560 ~ By the Treaty of Berwick the Lords bring in an English army to resist the French troops. The armed conflict now centers on the Siege of Leith. After the death of the Queen Regent in June and the conclusion of hostilities at Leith by the Treaty of Edinburgh in July, the Scottish Reformation takes effect in the Parliament of Scotland.

1566 ~ As a direct result of William Leslie's actions in protecting the Bishop, the lease of Fetternear is converted to a grant to the Baron.

1627 ~ Fetternear is held by the Abercrombies for the next sixty three years.

1640 ~ The Abercrombies are forced to flee when a Covenant force under the Earl Marischal attacks Fetternear. Following the families return they embark of extensive building work.

1690 ~ Count Patrick Leslie undertakes significant building work over the next three years. Once complete Fetternear becomes the primary home of the Balquhain branch of Leslies, who abandon Balquhain Castle for the more luxurious accommodations at Fetternear.

1818 ~ Further extensions are made but the family move to a new house nearby.

1919 ~ A terrible fire laids waste to the palace, and many Leslie paintings and grand possessions are lost in the fire. The building is left to decay.