Findlater Castle, Scotland

Findlater Castle is the old seat of the Earls of Findlater and Seafield.  It sits on a 50 foot cliff overlooking the Moray Firth on the coast of Banff and Buchan, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It lies about 9.3 mi west of Banff, near the village of Sandend. The first historical reference to the castle is from 1246. King Alexander III of Scotland repaired this castle in the 1260s in preparation for an invasion by King Haakon IV of Norway. Though this invasion ended in defeat for Haakon at the Battle of Largs, the Norse do seem to have occupied Findlater for a while but nothing else is known about this early castle on the site.

The remains you see today appear to date back to the castle built in the 1450s by Sir Walter Ogilvy, incorporating the earlier structures on the site. It’s design is sometimes said to have been based on the plans for Rosslyn Castle.

In 1560 the castle passed to Sir John Gordon, son of the 4th Earl of Huntly. In the Autumn of 1562 the Gordons rebelled against Mary Queen of Scots, and Findlater Castle was besieged by Mary’s forces. On 28 October 1562 Mary defeated the Gordons at the Battle of Corrichie, near Aberdeen, and Sir John was executed. Findlater Castle returned to the Ogilvy family, who abandoned it in favor of a more modern residence, Cullen House, in Cullen at the beginning of the 1600s.