MacDuff Castle, Fife
East Wemyss, Kirkcaldy
MacDuff Castle is a very ruinous castle comprising the remains of a four-storey 14th-century tower, and a five-storey 16th-century tower. The two are connected by 16th-century gatehouse range, with 17th-century walls containing interesting gun loops. However, the eastern tower was demolished by Fife County Council in 1967 after a child was injured falling from it. Today what has survived demolition, erosion by the sea and decay is in a very ruinous state but has been made safe enough to explore.
The castle is supposedly haunted by a "Grey Lady", said to be a Mary Sibbald who was found guilty of theft and died in the castle as a result of her punishment.
Access to the castle can be made from a car park and short walk across a field towards a high hedge which contains a gate, almost hidden, in the middle on the long line of hedges which takes you directly to the castle.
~ History ~
1040's ~ A timber castle is built by the MacDuff Earls of Fife.
1290's ~ Michael Wemyss, Earl of Fife, builds a stone courtyard castle named after his ancestors the MacDuff's, whose own origins date back to King Dub who ruled Alba.
1304 ~ King Edward I of England stays at the castle during his visit to speak with Earl Michael Wemyss.
1305 ~ Despite the King's visit, Earl Michael Wemyss decides to join forces with Robert the Bruce against King Edward I.
1306 ~King Edward I orders the Earl of Pembroke to destroy the castle.
1350's ~ Sir John Wemyss rebuilds the castle, adding a north-western gatehouse to the courtyard castle.
1530's ~ The Colvilles remodel the castle, blocking the old gateway they build the south-western four storey tower, with a new gatehouse.
1600's ~ An outer court encased by a wall with angle turrets and pierced with gunports is created on the three landward sides.
1637 ~ The castle is brought by Sir John Wemyss from Lord Colville but is little used.
1666 ~ Jean Wemyss, Countess of Sutherland, daughter to David, 2nd Earl of Wemyss, lodges her children in the castle during an outbreak of plague in Edinburgh.
1680's ~ The castle is abandoned and allowed to fall into ruin.