Corgarff Castle is a 16th century, four-storey tower house that was heavily modified in 1748 when it was converted into a fort with the addition of two single-storey pavilions and an outer wall forming a star-shaped barmkin.
In 1571 the castle was owned by John Forbes, a supporter of King James VI. This brought him into conflict with the neighbouring Gordons who supported the ousted Queen Mary. A force led by Adam Gordon of Auchindoun marched on Corgarff to sieze the castle. When they got there they found the menfolk away and the castle defended by John's wife Margaret and 27 other women, children and servants. When Margaret refused to surrender the castle, Gordon's men set fire to the building killing everyone inside. This wasn't the last time that the castle was torched. It was burnt by Jacobites in 1689, and by Hanoverians in 1716.
In 1748 the castle was bought by the government and converted for use as a fort. The garrison had left by 1802 but returned 25 years later when it was used as a base in support of excise men trying to stamp out illicit whisky distilling. It was abandoned by the army in 1831 and by the end of the century was a ruin. The castle was fully restored in the 1960's and now contains an exhibition and reconstruction of a barrack room.
- 8 miles west of Strathdon on the A939
- Corgarff Castle, Corgarff, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, AB36 8YP
- Historic Scotland. Open to public. Entrance fee for non-members.
- For further information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
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