History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The initial tower house was plain, rising in straight lines to the height of the current 4th storey. The staunchly Catholic Mortimers built a chapel into their new home, but being no fools, they disguised the nature of the chapel so that no trace of it could be seen from outside; a wise move for the turbulent years of the late 16th century, when the passions aroused by the Reformation were at their fullest.
Danzig Willie wanted Craigievar to reflect his wealth and status, so he removed the upper floors and rebuilt them on a grand scale. The upper floors had a larger footprint than the lower floors, so Forbes used a series of carved corbels to support the larger upper chambers, which he topped with conical turrets and viewing platforms with balustrades. The effect - both inside and out - combines Scottish tradition with Renaissance style.
The Craigievar Ghost
One of the most famous descendants of Danzig Willie to leave his mark on Craigievar was 'Red' Sir John, his grandson, whose moniker referred both to his red hair and his violent disposition. Red Sir John was said to be responsible for Craigievar's resident ghost. According to the tale, as related to me by one of the very friendly guides, Sir John's daughter fell in love with a young member of the Gordon family, old enemies of the Forbes clan. The young man came to call on his love, climbing to the Blue Bedroom on the fourth floor, only to be met by Red Sir John. The enraged father put a sword to the young man's throat and forced him to leap from the window. The fall was too great, and the young man died. Ever since, according to the tales, ghostly footsteps can be heard, crossing the Blue Room to the window behind the bed.
The only way to explore Craigievar is by guided tour, in small groups of no more than 12 at a time. When you see the size of the rooms on display and the narrow, winding stairs and low ceilings in places it is easy to see why! However, the tours are very informative and well worth it. Unlike many historic properties there are not really any extensive gardens around the house, but you can walk through the estate, which is full of interesting trees, and the views across the surrounding countryside are fabulous on a sunny day.
About Craigievar Castle
Address: Craigievar, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB33 8JF
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: 6 miles south of Alford, on the A980.
Website: Craigievar Castle
Phone: 013398 83635
National Trust for Scotland
OS: NJ566 096
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Find other attractions tagged with:
18th century (Time Period) -
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