History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Braemar is an almost perfect example of a Scottish fortified tower house. Built in 1628 for the Earl of Mar, the castle served a dual purpose. In summer it was a hunting lodge, but its main purpose was to defend the Mar estates against the neighbouring Farquharson clan of Inverey. The Farquharsons were technically vassals of the Earl, but that meant little in practice! The location at Braemar also meant that the castle could control access through the Cairngorms to Strathspey, and the pass of Glen Derry.
Mar's castle was a fairy-tale concoction of battlemented towers and turrets protected within a star-shaped curtain wall, not unlike the defenses of Corgarff, further west.
The Earl of Mar and the Jacobite Rising
When George I came to the throne in 1714 one of the first things he did was to dismiss many of the ministers in the government of his predecessor, Queen Anne. One of those dismissed was Anne's Secretary of State, John Erskine, the Earl of Mar. The Earl retired to his Deeside estates, seething with anger and a burning sense of injustice.
He called a gathering of Highland clan chiefs to Braemar, ostensibly for hunting and feasting, but in reality to plan a revolt agains the Hanoverian king. On 6 September the Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite standard on a small hill at Braemar and proclaimed James VIII and III as the rightful king. The abortive Jacobite Rising came to an shuddering halt at Sheriffmuir just 2 months later, and Mar was forced to flee into exile.
The Braemar Ghost
Any Scottish castle deserves a good ghost story, and Braemar is no exception. The castle is said to be haunted by the spectre of a new bride, who thought - wrongly - that her husband repented of their marriage and had deserted her. She threw herself from the top of the castle in despair, and today her ghost is said to haunt the grounds.
About Braemar Castle
Address: Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB35 5XR
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: ½ mile east of Braemar, on the A93
Website: Braemar Castle
Phone: 013397 412 19
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Kindrochit Castle - 0.7 miles (Castle)
Mar Lodge Estate - 3.8 miles (Countryside)
Linn o' Dee - 6.1 miles (Countryside)
Balmoral Castle - 6.6 miles (Historic House)
Abergeldie Castle - 7.9 miles (Castle)
Corgarff Castle - 11.8 miles (Castle)
Royal Deeside - 13.7 miles (Countryside)
Tullich Symbol Stone - 15 miles (Prehistoric Site)
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