The ruins of Auchindoun Castle, an L-plan tower house, stand on a hilltop within the earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort. The castle was built in the mid 15th century for John Stuart, Earl of Mar. In 1480 he died at Craigmillar Castle while being held prisoner by his brother, James III. All his estates and titles where given to the King's favourite, Robert Cochrane, master mason turned architect. In 1482, Scottish nobles captured many of the King's favourites, including Robert Cochrane, and hanged them from Lauder Bridge.
Ownership of the castle passed swiftly through the hands of many people. In 1571 it was the home of Adam Gordon a staunch supporter of the ousted Mary Queen of Scots. That year he marched to Corgarff Castle to confront his enemy, John Forbes, but finding the menfolk away he set fire to the building killing John's wife, Margaret, and 27 other women, children and servants.
Auchindoun Castle was sacked and burnt in 1591 by the Mackintoshes in revenge for the murder of the Bonnie Earl o’Moray by the Marquis of Huntly and Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun. The castle was restored but by 1725 it had been abandoned and partly demolished to provide building material.
- 2 miles southeast of Dufftown off the A941. Access is by foot up a track signposted from the main road. The walk is steep and can be wet.
- Historic Scotland. Exterior viewable only.
- For further information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
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