Midmar Castle

Midmar Castle, Aberdeenshire




Off B9119


AB51 7LX

Midmar Castle is an impressive private 16th century residence set in secluded grounds that, with due consideration and permission, you are able to access to take a few photo's.

A wonderful 'Z' Plan Castle in great condition with some interesting features and history.

~ History ~

1298 ~ Adam Broun, who holds Midmar Castle of the Bishop of Aberdeen, is killed at  the Battle of Falkirk.

1328 ~ Adam's grandson, Sir John Broun, is sheriff of Aberdeenshire.

1368 ~ John's son, also named John, is involved in a brawl in the Parliament at Scone. He and Robert D'Umfraville are ordered to find bail to the tune of £500 to keep the peace.

1422 ~ John Broun, the grandson of the sheriff, sells the castle to Patrick Ogilvy.

1468 ~  Midmar Castle comes into the possession of Alexander Gordon, first Earl of Huntly.

1484 ~ Midmar is granted to Alexander Gordon, second son of the first Earl.

Although Alexander later resigns the barony of Midmar to his brother George, second Earl of Huntly, he receives it back from him in a fit of brotherly love.

1503 ~ Alexander is succeeded as first laird of Midmar by his eldest son George.

1523 ~ George Gordon is succeeded by his second son, James, as second laird of Midmar. James Gordon reluctantly acts as surety for his uncle, William Gordon of Netherdale. William had raided the lands of Agnes Grant at considerable profit to himself eight years earlier, and he obviously had no intention of paying anything back so long as his nephew could be bled.

1530 ~ James Gordan is ordered to pay to Agnes in place of his uncle;

" six score of ewes price of the piece 5 shillings, 60 of wethers and yield sheep price of the piece 4 shillings, and four score of lambs price of the piece 2 shillings. And for the profits of the said six score ewes in wool, milk and lambs 27 pounds. The profits of the said 60 wethers and yield sheep since the time of the said raid three pounds. The profits of the said 80 lambs since the said raid as said 4 pounds ".

1536 ~ In addition of the payments already paid by James for his uncle, he is forced to part with lands with the proviso that if at the end of 15 years James or his heirs could find the sum of;

" Seventeen score of marks in gold of angel, nobel, crowns (of weight) unicorns and Leith crowns ... together with the rent of ten marks in the money of Scotland ", the lands could be redeemed.

1547 ~ James is killed at the battle of Pinkie, and is succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander as third laird.

1560 ~ Alexander signs a bond against the Regent of Scotland 'to expel the French maintained by the Queen Dowager and take plain part with the Queen of England's army sent by her for that purpose'.

1562 ~ Alexander joins Lord Huntly in the rebellion which at the Battle of Corrichie brakes the power of the Gordons for a time and leads to the capture and death of Lord Huntly. Midmar Castle is plundered and partially destroyed.

1564 ~ After Alexander has made his peace and compelled to pay a penalty of 5000 marks, he has his lands restored to him. Midmar Castle is rebuilt.

Alexander later signs a bonds of adherence to Mary Stuart, and of allegiance to King James.

1592 ~ Alexander son, also named Alexander and acting as Lord Huntly's baillie in Badenoch, is ordered to raid the lands of the Mackintoshes in Petty. This is in revenge for the murders of Harry Gordon of Knock and of the Laird of Brackley.

Alexander, a staunch Roman Catholic, is denounced as a rebal.

1594 ~ Alexander leads the Gordans to fight with Lord Huntly at the battle of Glenlivet. Following the victory of the King's forces Midmar is burned and destroyed.

1596 ~ Following his father's death Alexander succeeds as fourth laird. In order to placate the King he enters into a bond of 2000 marks as assurance against joining the Catholic Earls. This fails to reassure the nervous King and so has his arrested to Edinburgh, only to be later being released on his promising to remain south the River Dee.

1601 ~ Alexander dies. The repairs to Midmar Castle is left to William Gordon, fifth laird of Midmar, to make good the damage that had been done by the King's forces.

1609 ~ William has managed to reduce the rumour and reputation of his involvement in a rebellion of the Catholic Earls, to be appointed as Justice of the Peace. He actively uses this position to enhance his property.

1630 ~ Following William's death his son, Alexander, sixth laird of Midmar inherits the estates.

1635 ~  Along with other Gordons, Alexander is summoned before the Privy Council to provide assurance for his good behaviour.

1639 ~ Despite the assurance provided some four years earlier, Alexander joins Lord Aboyne's uprising at Turriff.

1644 ~  Alexander joins Lord Huntly's rebellion at Aberdeen.

His official position is his actions are in response to the Earl of Argyll's troops plunder and distruction of his lands, and that of other malignant lairds.

"... there are thrie hundreth men and above of these, which wer leveyed for pacifieing ye saides trouble, who have entered wpoun ye saides landes ... and satt doune wpoun ye poore tennentes ... they have not only impoverished and depeopled ye tennents by destroyeing and takeing away all their cattell, sheepe, and horse, but also have eatine and distroyed ye haill growand corn. "

He is unable to receive his rents in cash or kind and put to great expense for his sister and her children, who are forced to flee to Angus and who

'will be destitute of interteinment and mentinance this yere to come in respect of ye distroying of ye grounds, goodes and comes'.

Midmar Castle is sold to recoup lost revenues as a result of the Earl's actions. It is sold repeatedly through various families including the Forbes, Grants, Davidsons, Mansfield and later Colonel John Gordon of Cluny.

During the period of ownership by the Grants, Midmar Castle is extensively renovated and expanded.