The charm of Fyvie Castle ranges from its 13th-century origins to its stunning Edwardian interiors. The castle is home to a superb collection of arms, armour and paintings, including works by Raeburn and Gainsborough. Stroll around the picturesque loch, or visit the restored 1903 racquet court and bowling alley. Ghosts, legends and folklore are all woven into the tapestry of Fyvie Castle’s 800-year history. Tradition claims that the castle’s five successive families – Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Forbes-Leith – each added a tower to this magnificent Scottish Baronial fortress. You can see their influences today among the medieval stones and the lavish Edwardian interiors, and imagine what castle life must have been like for the families and their royal guests – among them Robert the Bruce, Edward I and Charles I.
The earliest parts of Fyvie Castle date from the 13th century – some sources claim it was built in 1211 by William the Lion. Fyvie was the site of an open-air court held by Robert the Bruce, and Charles I lived there as a child. Following the Battle of Otterburn in 1390, it ceased to be a royal stronghold and instead fell into the possession of five successive families – Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith – each of whom added a new tower to the castle. The oldest of these, the Preston tower (located on the far right as one faces the main facade of Fyvie), dates to between 1390 and 1433. The impressive Seton tower forms the entrance, and was erected in 1599 by Alexander Seton; Seton also commissioned the great processional staircase several years later. The Gordon tower followed in 1778 , and the Leith in 1890. Inside, the castle stronghold features a great wheel stair, a display of original arms and armour, and a collection of portraits.
Manus O'Cahan and Montrose fought a successful minor battle against the Covenant Army at Fyvie Castle on October 28, 1644. The battlefield is currently under research to be inventoried and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009. Following Victorian trends, the grounds and adjoining Loch Fyvie were landscaped in the 19th century. The Scottish industrialist Alexander Leith (later Baron Leith of Fyvie) bought the castle in 1885. It was sold to the National Trust for Scotland in 1984 by his descendants. To the East there is a walled garden which is currently a garden of Scottish Cultivated Fruits. There is evidence for two other walled gardens closer to the castle itself to its West and South. The one to the west appears on an estate plan of 1768.
The castle (like many places in Scotland) is said to be haunted. A story is told that in 1920 during renovation work the skeleton of a woman was discovered behind a bedroom wall. On the day the remains were laid to rest in Fyvie cemetery, the castle residents started to be plagued by strange noises and unexplained happenings. Fearing he had offended the dead woman, the Laird of the castle had the skeleton exhumed and replaced behind the bedroom wall, at which point the haunting ceased. It is said that there is a secret room in the south-west corner of the castle that must remain sealed, lest anyone entering meet with disaster. It's not clear if this is the same room in which the skeleton was found. There is also an indelible blood stain, two ghosts and two curses associated with this place. One of the curses has been attributed to the prophetic laird, Thomas the Rhymer.
Disabled parking is available in front of the castle. Only the Front Hall is accessible to wheelchairs; in the castle there are steps to the various rooms. The Walled Garden and American Garden are fully accessible. The tearoom is accessible, as is the toilet. Braille information sheets are available. Herbs and scented planting in the Walled Garden for sensory experiences. Guidebook: French, German. Explanatory text: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish. Assistance Dogs are Welcome. Members of the National Trust of Scotland are admitted for free.
Location : Fyvie Castle, Fyvie, Turriff, Aberdeen & Grampian AB53 8JS
Transport: Aberdeen (National Rail) then bus . Bus Routes : Stagecoach Bluebird stops 1 mile away
Opening Times : 1st April through October Saturday to Wednesday 12:00 to 17:00; June, July, August daily 11:00 to 17:00
Tickets : Adults £12.50; Concessions £9.00
Tel: 01651 891266