On the coast between Cullen and Sandend are the ruins of Findlater Castle, perched precariously on an outcrop of rock. There has been some form of fortification on the site since at least the 13th century, but the remaining buildings probably date from the late 14th century when the castle was owned by the Sinclairs, or possibly from the mid 15th century when it passed to the Ogilvies.
In 1546 Sir Alexander Ogilvie disinherited his son and signed the property over to Sir John Gordon, son of the Earl of Huntly. James Ogilvie, the disinherited son, was keen to get his lands back and used his influence as Steward to Queen Mary's household to try and settle the matter. When, in 1562, Sir John Gordon refused to surrender the castle and grant entrance to Mary, Queen of Scots, she sent a company of troops to seize it. They were defeated by Sir John Gordon, but he in turn was defeated at the Battle of Corrichie, and taken to Aberdeen where he was beheaded. The castle was returned to the Ogilvies, but they abandoned it soon after 1600 when they moved to a new home in Cullen.
The castle is in a very dramatic and picturesque setting, however it is in a very ruined and dangerous condition and should be visited with care
- The castle is situated on the coast between Sandend and Cullen. It is reached by minor roads north of the A98, and then by foot from a parking area. Alternatively it can be reached by walking along the coastal path between Sandend and Cullen
- Findlater Castle, Sandend, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire
- Open access at any reasonable time
- For further information visit www.findlater.org.uk
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