Kildrummy Castle

Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire


Kildrummy, Alford




AB33 8RA

Although now quite ruinous, Kildrummy Castle was once one of the largest and mightiest castles in all of Scotland. Today it is a very picturesque and atmospheric location rich in history.

The castle is well sign-posted as you would expect for a major castle, with plenty of parking just off the road, with a short walk to the castle itself.

~ History ~

1230's ~ Gilbert de Moray, Bishop of Caithness, builds an earth and timber castle at Kildrummy, in order to control a key northern road through Scotland.

1296 ~ King Edward I of England captures the castle.

1303 ~ King Edward returns to Kildrummy Castle.

1305 ~ Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, is made custodian of Kildrummy Castle by King Edward, by right of the Earls wife, a daughter of the Earl of Mar.

"place the Chastle de Kindromyn in the keeping of a person for whom he shall answer".

1306 ~ Robert the Bruce rebels against King Edward and has himself crowned King of Scotland. By the end of the year Prince Edward of England lays seige to the castle, held by Bruce's brother Sir Nigel Bruce.

Following a stout defence of the castle Sir Nigel Bruce is treacherously betrayed by Osbourne, the blacksmith who sets fire to the castle. The garrison are slaughted, Sir Nigel Bruce hanged and Bruce's ladies, who had escaped, are captured and sent to King Edward in order to bring Robert Bruce to heel.

Osbourne is duely rewarded by the English in gold - poured molten down his throat.

1308 ~ Robert the Bruce returns to Kildrummy castle during his campaign against his arch rivals the Comyns, slighting the castle's defences so as it can not be held against him.

1333 ~ Kildrummy castle is restored and holds Duncan, Earl of Fife, as its prisoner.

1335 ~ Robert the Bruce's sister, Dame Christian Bruce, and John of the Craig, defend the castle against the Earl of Atholl, who is in league with the English. Christian's husband Sir Andrew Moray, the Regent of Scotland, relieves the castle and kills the Earl of Atholl following the Battle of Culbean.

1363 ~ King David II besieges and captures the castle after falling out with the Earl of Mar.

1382 ~ Isabella, Countess of Mar, is seized at Kildrummy by Sir Alexander Stewart, son of the wolf of Badenoch, who obtains the Earldom after forcing her to marry him. He has Isabella's husband kidnapped from Kindrochit Castle.

1435 ~ Sir Alexander dies. His castle and lands are retained by King James I, in spite of legitimate claims by Sir Robert Erskine.

1442 ~ Sir Robert finall takes action by storming his castle but is forced to yield it to forces loyal to the King.

1507 ~ The castle is granted to Alexander, 1st Lord Elphinstone.

1531 ~ The outlaw John Strachan of Lynturk's men storm and torch the castle.

1565 ~ The Erskine's claims are finally recognised by Mary, Queen of Scots.

1626 ~ After almost two hundred years of legitimate claim, Erskine descendants finally take possession of Kildrummy Castle and its lands back from the Elphinstone's.

1654 ~ The castle is captured from Royalist rebels by Colonel Morgan and garrisoned for Oliver Cromwell.

1690 ~ Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, burns the castle rather than allow it to fall into the hands of Hanovarian troops. It is later repaired.

1715 ~ The Earl of Mar captures and uses the castle as his headquarters and mustering point to launch a Jacobite rebellion. Following the failed rebellion the castle is recaptured, slighted and its stone used as a quarry for other building projects.