Drumtochty Castle

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Drumtochty Castle

Drumtochty Castle is a neo-gothic style castellated mansion erected in 1812 approximately three kilometres north-west of Auchenblae, Kincardineshire, Scotland.[1][2] This building stands on the southern edge of Drumtochty Forest.

It was built to the designs of James Gillespie Graham with further extensions c. 1815. Although the design for the extensions was again commissioned from Gillespie Graham, the work was undertaken by the Aberdeen City Architect John Smith. Miller speculates Gillespie Graham could have had a dispute with George Drummond, the owner, but considers Smith’s closer proximity to the site is a more plausible scenario.[3] Gillespie Graham was involved with further additions c. 1839.[4]

During the Second World War, Drumtochty Castle was bought by the Norwegian government-in-exile and used as a boarding school for Norwegian children who were refugees from the German occupation of Norway.[5][6]

On 1 May 1947, Robert and Elizabeth Langlands, opened a boys’ preparatory school at the Castle, having bought Drumtochty from the Norwegian government.[7] The school closed in 1971.[8]

Historic Scotland included the castle on the list of category A listed buildings in August 1972.[4]

School alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Drumtochty Highland Games Archived 5 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ United Kingdom Ordnance Survey Map Landranger 45, Stonehaven & Banchory, 1:50,000 scale
  3. ^ Miller, David G. (2007). Tudor Johnny: City Architect of Aberdeen: The Life and Works of John Smith 1781-1852. Librario. pp. 56–58. ISBN 978-1-904440-97-0.
  4. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "Drumtochty Castle (Category A Listed Building) (LB9664)". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  5. ^ Begbie, Scott (30 April 2021). "How Drumtochty Castle became a safe haven and school for Norwegian children fleeing the Nazis". Aberdeen Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  6. ^ NRK "Da norske barn var flyktninger (When Norwegian children were refugees)" (Norwegian)
  7. ^ "Robert Langlands". The Scotsman. 6 June 2000. p. 15. ProQuest 326801667. On the last day of 1946 Robert went to London where he bought, from the Norwegian government, Drumtochty Castle in Kincardineshire, which they opened, on 1 May 1947, as a preparatory school for boys. At a time when most preparatory schools were grim or forbidding, Robert and Elizabeth created something with a character all its own. It was essentially a family school - an expression often used, but fully justified in this case. Indeed, their own five children were all pupils there
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Langlands". The Scotsman. 26 November 2002. p. 16. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  9. ^ "I was an overeducated freak';Elspeth Barker;A Childhood". The Times. 26 September 1992. ProQuest 319116106. He bought Drumtochty Castle, on the eastern foothills of the Grampian mountains, from King Haakon of Norway, who had used it to house refugee countrymen fleeing across the North Sea from the Germans. "I was six at the time the youngest person there entirely surrounded by boys. There were 30 or 40 pupils to begin with all dressed in haphazard clothes before a uniform was introduced rising to more than 100
  10. ^ "A classic tale of two cities; Saturday interview: Ross Leckie When Hollywood called, the Edinburgh fund management spinmeister was lost for words". The Herald (Glasgow). 23 August 2003. p. 21. Retrieved 14 November 2014. Fact File 1957: Born in Irvine, Ayrshire. Education: Drumtochty Castle Preparatory School, Kincardineshire; Fettes College, Edinburgh; Corpus Christi College, Oxford University; Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester
  11. ^ "David MacLennan". The Guardian. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Allan Massie". British Council. 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

Coordinates: 56°54′39″N 2°29′41″W / 56.9109°N 2.4947°W / 56.9109; -2.4947