Slains Castle

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Alternative Names Bowness
Canmore ID 21149
Site Number NK13NW 1
NGR NK 1015 3610
Former Region GRAMPIAN
Former District BANFF AND BUCHAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes

Slains Castle.

ARCHITECT: John Smith 1836/7 - additions to the castle of 1664
Thomas Mawson c.1900 - layout of garden

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Archaeological Notes

NK13NW 1 1015 3610

(NK 1015 3610) Slains Castle (NR) AD 1664
OS 6" map, (1959).

Not to be confused with (Old) Slains Castle (NK 0533 3000), for which see NK03SE 2.

Now a shapeless, two-storeyed, labyrinthine ruin (HBD No. 19) this building originated as a square tower and court in the reign of James VI, when it was named Bowness. It was subsequently enlarged and was virtually rebuilt in 1846-7 although the base of the square tower survives on the S, with 19th century additions (information from, View of the Diocese of Aberdeen).
J B Pratt 1901.

The tower, at NK 1016 3607 on the S of Slains Castle, is rectangular, measuring 4.8m by 2.5m within a wall 1.2m thick. The walling to first floor level is probably original, but with alterations. A blocked-up window is in the SW. The whole building is a roofless shell.
Visited by OS (RL) 18 May 1972.

Air photographs: AAS/94/07/G17/13-15.
NMRS, MS/712/21.

(Location cited as NK 1016 3607). Roofless shell of castle of 17th and 18th century date. Now a shapeless two-storey ruin, it originated as a square tower and court in the reign of James VI, when it ws named Bowness. It was enlarged and virtually rebuilt in 1836-7; the base of the square tower survives on the S.
(Air photographic imagery and periodical/newspaper references listed]
NMRS, MS/712/35.

2 March 2004

Project Buildings at Risk Register BARR

Notes Magnificant sea-girt courtyard palace erected by the Ninth Earl of Erroll after James VI destroyed his old castle at Collieston. The wings were customary one room thick, each apartment opening into the next, so that in 1664 a gallery was added within the courtyard to add a corridor, and a new entrance front in 1707. A magnificant ogee-roofed bow window was added in the middle of the south flank.

Substantially rebuilt and granite faced in 1836-7 by John Smith in the Baronial style. Unroofed in 1925 (Charles McKean) Bram Stoker is thought to have written part of Dracula whilst staying at Crookit Lum Cottage near Cruden Bay in 1895. He may have visited the castle as a guest of William Hay, 19th Earl of Errol. (The Herald)

BARR website

Further details

External Links

Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Aberdeen and Northern (1987) Slains Castle and policies, Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire: {sale particulars}, Aberdeen
Held at RCAHMS D.5.13.SLA.S

Bogdan and Bryce, N and I B D (1991) 'Castles, manors and 'town houses' survey', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 25

Coventry, M (2008) Castles of the Clans: the strongholds and seats of 750 Scottish families and clans, Musselburgh
Page(s): 116,265 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.COV

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