Kildrummy Castle, once the seat of the Earls of Mar, was the scene of treachery in 1306 when the resident blacksmith was bribed by the English to set it on fire. The garrison commander, Sir Nigel Bruce, was taken to Berwick for execution. But he was the brother of Robert the Bruce, and someone pointed out to the conquering King Edward I that the condemned man was of the blood royal. “Hang him on a gallows thirty feet higher
than the rest!” was the English king’s retort. Fetteresso Castle, just west of Stonehaven, was the scene of an extraordinary act in 1715 when Prince James Edward Stuart, son of James II and known to history as the “Old Pretender,” was proclaimed King James VIII of Scotland after landing at Peterhead during the abortive Mar’ rebellion, only to leave a hurry shortly after-rds for France, never to return.
Auchindbun, near Dufftown, and Corgarff, fartther south, were involved in a notorious quarrel between the Gordon and the Forbes families in the 16th century. It reached its climax when one of the Gordons of Auchindoun set fire to Corgarff, and Margaret Forbes and her children and servants were burned to death.
The Forbes family, however, went on building. In a wooded dell near Oldmeldrum are the ruins of Tolquhon Castle, on which a carved inscription states that all the castle “excep the auld tour” was begun by William Forbes “15 Aprile. 1584. and endit be him. 20 October. 1589.”
Not all the castles of Grampian are in ruins, more here. The royal castle of Balmoral, built by Prince Albert during the 1850s to replace an earlier castle, heads a list of intact buildings which includes the fairytale castle of Craigievar, continuously lived in since 1626 and a work of art which warrants a place in the front rank of European architecture. And who built it? Why, another Forbes, known as “Willie the Merchant,” whose motto was “Doe not vaiken sleiping dogs.” The castle has become so popular that nowadays the National Trust for Scotland only opens it to individual visitors for short periods of time, where you can stay in Scotland to visit it check at this hotel comparison sites.
Drum Castle, near Aberdeen, is also cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, while Darnaway Castle, near Forres, is the ancestral home of the Morays. And these are a mere sample of the almost countless military strongholds and fortified houses throughout this region of Scotland, more from Europe at Europe Cities the best website.
Braemar, a village on the Dee below the red granite mass of Lochnagar, is famed for the Royal Highland Gathering in September, when kilted pipe bands and tossing the caber are much in evidence.