Fordell Castle is a restored 16th-century tower house, located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north-west of Dalgety Bay and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Dunfermline, in Fife, Scotland. Parts of the castle date from before 1566, though most dates from 1580 or later. The chapel was rebuilt in 1650. The interior of the castle was substantially renovated in the 1960s, with additional major renovations to the castle interiors and chapel in the early 2000s. The estate is in private ownership and not available for public tour.
The castle is a fortified house (fortalice) designed on a Z-plan running east-west, with square towers at the north-west and south-east corners, each containing a circular staircase. "Externally, Fordell remains pretty much as it was when first built, a simply treated, dignified dwelling, on which corbelled turetts and projections, happily grouped, relieve the plane wall-surfaces below." Fordell Castle is the only example of a tower house with two main stairs, each with its own door to the outside. The entrance is at the foot of the north stair tower and is through a studded door with a metal grate (yett) behind. It gives access to a vestibule. Stairs lead down to three vaulted basement chambers. The western chamber included stocks and branks, but the room has since been converted to a wine cellar. A rogue's collar or jougs hangs near the front entrance to the castle.
The first floor contains the Great Hall to the west; the great stone fireplace has a cast iron grate and stone surround. A "witch stone" carving above the entrance to the Great Hall is said to depict the daughter of James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell, Margaret Echlin (née Henderson) of Pittadro, who was accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in 1649. Prior to being tried, she was found dead, apparently from poison.
There is a smaller withdrawing room to the east of the Great Room. The paneled ceiling has star and half moon mouldings, reflecting motifs in the Henderson coat of arms. Reclaimed timber from Edinburgh Castle and reclaimed Italian Carrera tiles floors were added in recent renovations.
At gallery level is the main private apartment, which has a paneled ceiling with star and half moon moulding. Off this room is a modern bathroom. Also at this level is the Laird's Study, with a stone fireplace and access to the second spiral stair. Above the main stair head is a chamber known as Queen Mary's Room; it is vaulted and paneled, and has a stone fireplace.
A small area of flat roof is castellated, and has a flagpole and wrought-iron beacon basket. The lintel of the door in the north tower is inscribed I.H (for James Henderson) 25 MCH (March) A.D. 1580. Higher is built in a broken lintel, also inscribed I.H. with I.M. for Henderson's wife, Jean Murray of Tullibardine, dated 1580. There is a heraldic panel above with the arms of Henderson and Murray dated 1567, inscribed with the Henderson motto ‘Sola Vertus Nobilitat’.
Considered one of the finest details of the castle is the lead gargoyle at the eaves, seen in the north-east view. It "represents a winged four-footed monster, with open mouth and defiant attitude, designed and executed with great spirit."
The earliest charter in the Henderson of Fordell papers dates from 1217, when Richard, son of Hugh de Camera, with consent of his wife and son, (also) Richard, grants small parts of the lands of Fordell to the Abbey of Inchcolm.
By 1240, William de Hercht held the lands of Fordell. Sir William de Erth was the Lord of Fordell in 1428. The Fordell lands were divided into fractional portions following William de Erth's death. John Henrisoun was serving as sergeant of Fordell by 1465.
In 1510-1512, James (M. Jacobo) Henrysoun (Henderson), burgess of Edinburgh, and his wife, Elene (née Baty), redeemed from mortgage his inherited fractional portion of the Fordell estate and purchased fractional parts of the lands of Fordell (Fordalis) from at least five others. The land was consolidated into a barony granted by King James IV in 1511.
It is not known when the original castle structure was constructed, but the main entrance tower is believed to date from the 1400s. James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell, started to extend the castle in 1566.
In 1568 the castle was damaged by fire, then rebuilt. Evidence of the fire can be seen to the left of the main entrance tower.
During the late 16th century, the Hendersons began working the estate's rich coal seams that came to form the basis of the estate economy.
In the 19th century, the family built a large, new mansion – Fordell House – nearby. Fordell House was demolished in the 20th century, and there is now little visible evidence of its existence.
In the 19th century, Fordell Castle was rarely occupied; the main hall is said to have been converted into a stable for a time. George Mercer-Henderson modernized the castle and installed the gates. The north front was rebuilt in 1855 (designed by Robert Hay).
In 1953, John Hampden Mercer-Henderson, 8th Earl of Buckinghamshire, divided the nearly 2000-acre estate, selling the land to the west of Fordel Burn. The walled garden at Pittadro was sold for use as a commercial nursery.
Author James Henderson CBE (no relation), purchased the estate in 1953. He restored the castle to a good standard and it was inhabited for the first time since 1726. Fordell was acquired in 1961 by the controversial lawyer and Conservative politician Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (1933–1995). The castle was restored and used as a private residence by Sir Nicholas and his wife Lady Sam Fairbairn. Following his death in 1995, Nicholas Fairbairn was laid to rest in the crypt below the Chapel of St Theriot on the castle grounds.
About 1995, the property was acquired by Dr. Lorraine Inglis and her husband, local veterinarian Bill Inglis. About 1999, the property was purchased by Andrew Berry, a businessman who made extensive, high-quality restorations of the castle, chapel, and grounds. In November 2007, Fordell Castle was sold for £3,850,000 to Stuart Simpson, the 17th Baron of Fordell, making it the fifth-highest-priced home ever sold in Scotland. The Castle remains a private residence, and is a category A listed building.
- A. and Richard, son of Hugh de Camera (c. 1220) . Richard served as a witness to many royal documents for William I of Scotland ("William the Lion").
- William de Hercht (c. 1240)
- Sir William de Erth of Plean and Fordell (- c. 1449). Sir William served as a hostage for James I at Durham in 1423-24 and Pontefract in 1426-27.
Scottish Feudal Barony of Fordell
- James Henryson, 1st (c. 1450-1513) and Elene (Helen) Baty (- c. 1534). James Henderson was appointed Advocate to King James IV in 1494 and Clerk of Justiciary in 1507. James died with the King at the Battle of Flodden in 1513; his first son died with him.
- George Henderson (Henrisoun), 2nd (1480-1547) and first Katherine Adamson (Adamsoun) (-1539), second Marion (Mariota) Scott (-1566). George Henderson died with his eldest son, William, in 1547 in the Battle of Pinkie.
- James Henderson, 3rd (c. 1544-c. 1610/12) and Jean Murray
- Sir John Henderson, 4th (-1618) and first Agnes Balfour (- c. 1610/15), second Anna Halkat
- Sir John Henderson, 5th (1605-1650) and Margaret Menteath (-1653) . Sir John was a distinguished soldier, taken prisoner when commanding at the African Coast, and later fought on the side of the Royalists in the Civil War, when Henderson was invested as a Knight by King Charles I.
Scottish Baronetcy of Fordell
- Sir John Henderson, 1st Baronet (1626-1683) and Margaret Hamiltoun (1635-1671)
- Sir William Henderson, 2nd Baronet (1664-1708) and Jean Hamilton (1667-1731)
- Sir John Henderson, 3rd Baronet (1686- c. 1729/30) and Christian Anstruther (-1760)
- Sir Robert Henderson, 4th Baronet (-1781) and Isabella (Isabel) Stuart (-1796)
- Sir John Henderson, 5th Baronet (1752 -1817) and Anne Loudoun Robertson (-1782). Sir John was a politician, serving as Member of Parliament for Fife and for Stirling.
- Sir Robert Bruce Henderson, 6th Baronet (1762-1833) (brother of Sir John)
Further Owners and Barons of Fordell
- Anne Isabella Henderson (1782-1844)(daughter of Sir John Henderson), who married Admiral Sir Philip Charles Calderwood Durham (1763-1845). Sir Philip was a Royal Navy officer whose service in the American War of Independence, French Revolutionary War, and Napoleonic Wars was lengthy, distinguished, and at times controversial.
- George Mercer, later George Mercer Henderson (-1852)
- Lt.-Gen. Douglas Mercer-Henderson (c. 1786-1854) and Susan Arabella Rowley. Lt.-Gen. Mercer-Henderson was distinguished officer who served in the Peninsular War and was in the Scots Fusiliers Guards for 40 years. By royal licence dated 14 January 1853, Douglas Mercer, afterwards Douglas Mercer-Henderson, and his issue were authorized to take the surname of Henderson in addition to and after Mercer, and to bear the arms of Henderson quarterly with those of Mercer.
- George William Mercer-Henderson (1823-1881) and Alice Primrose
- Edith Isabella Mercer-Henderson (-1902) and Hon. Hew Adam Dalrymple Hamilton Haldane-Duncan-Mercer-Henderson (née Haldane-Duncan) (1820-1900)
- Georgiana Wilhelmina Haldane-Duncan-Mercer-Henderson (1867-1937) and Sidney Carr Hobert-Hampden-Mercer-Henderson (née Hobart-Hampden), 7th Earl of Buckinghamshire (1860-1930)
- John Hampden Mercer-Henderson, 8th Earl of Buckinghamshire (1906-1963)
- James Henderson. Author.
- Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (1933-1995) and first Elizabeth MacKay, second Suzanne Mary Wheeler ("Lady Sam") (1942-2002) Fairbairn was a controversial lawyer and Conservative politician.
- Dr. Lorraine Inglis and William "Bill" Inglis (1918-1999). Mr. Inglis was a respected local veterinarian. Dr. Lorraine Inglis was a close friend of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn.
- Andrew Berry. Andrew Berry is described as a multi-millionaire businessman.
- Stuart Simpson and Kelly Cooper Barr. Stuart Simpson is an art collector with a background in venture capital. Kelly Cooper Barr is an editor, stylist, and film producer.
The estate currently encompasses about 210 acres. The entrance to the Castle passes over a bridge, past a weir that formerly held back the waters of the Fordell Burn, and forming a lake that has now all but silted up. Rhododendrons surround the former lake and are a feature of the estate as a whole, lining the avenues through the estate. The castle sits in dense woodland, with very little opportunity to view it from anywhere, other than up close, or from a significant distance to the south-west.
An irregularly-shaped block of sandstone in a field to the west of the carriage drive is said to have been erected following the 1317 victory of the Scottish, led by William Sinclair, Bishop of Dunkeld, against an English invasion.
The Castle, garden, and Chapel sit within a roughly trapezoidal area enclosed by a rubble barmkin wall, modified on the east side in the 19th century with castellations and a bastion. The principal entrance lies on this side and is marked by large wrought-iron entrance gates and gate-piers, with large urn finials.
The sundial in the garden is an 1860 copy of the 1644 sundial originally at Pitreavie Castle, Dunfermline. It comprises a square pedestal on four globes supporting a lectern dial. The pedestal features carved escutcheons on two faces with the Henderson family arms.
On the west barmkin wall is the bell originally located in the chapel belfry. It is said to have been purchased by Sir John Henderson, 5th Bart. from a local provost for an extravagant price in order to secure that provost's election vote.
To the south of the barmkin wall is a natural spring called St Theriot's Well. Folklore has it that the well has the extraordinary property of securing what one wishes, while drinking of its water.
St. Thereota's Chapel
About 70 yards to the south-west of the castle building within the garden boundary is the mortuary chapel of the Henderson family. It was built on the site of an earlier chapel, dedicated to Saint Therotus, Theoretus or Theriot, an obscure 8th century cleric, who is described by one source as "splendidly apocryphal"; it was first mentioned in 1510 but may have been considerably older. The present building is rectangular, ashlar-built, with a slate roof and a belfry at the western end. It has a Renaissance doorway with the Henderson motto and the date 1650. "The elevations are balanced in the Renaissance manner, but the windows are late Gothic in fashion with traceried heads." The windows are of German and Flemish painted glass date from the 16th century onwards. During some time periods, the Chapel was used for public worship. The Chapel was renovated in the 1650s and again the early 2000s. Grave slabs on the walls and floor of the chapel and in the burial vault under the chapel date from 1653 through 2002. St. Thereota's Chapel was made a Category A Listed Building in 1972.
Other features on the estate
Close to the Castle, the Fordell Day Level surfaces. This is a mine "river", connecting the foot of numerous former coal mines, from as far afield as Cowdenbeath, and draining the pits. It was one of Scotland's worst pollution issues, issuing iron-polluted water into the nearby watercourse, but this has been largely improved by the recent open-cast mining operations to the North, and the subsequent reparations and reed-bed water treatment facilities.
The remains of one of Scotland's oldest railways runs 400 m to the east of the Castle. The Fordell railway route took coal from the Fife coalfields to the ships in St David's Bay, now part of the Dalgety Bay settlement. The original wooden rails are gone, although the embankments, cuttings, and stone bridges remain, and carriages and equipment can be viewed in the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
The former entrance avenue and gates to the east lead to Vantage Farm, a small steading featuring Scotland's only octagonal doocot and ornate farm buildings including clock tower, Grieve's cottage, dairy, and three storey granary. The steading is now exclusively residential.
There is a lodge to the west, known as North Lodge on the Inverkeithing / Crossgates Road, and South Lodge on the Aberdour Road, marking the primary entrances to the former estate.
- The name was variously written Fordell, Fordel, Fordale, and Fordal.
- MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887) "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland from the Twelfth to the Eighteenth Century Vol. 2" pp. title page, 237-243.
- Tranter, Nigel (1986) "The Fortified House in Scotland - Volume 2, Central Scotland" p. 38-39.
- Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments & Constructions of Scotland (1933) "Eleventh Report with Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan" p. 96-97.
- Gifford, John (1992) "Buildings of Scotland: Fife" p. 227.
- Inglis, Janet (2011) "Scotland’s Castles: Rescued, Rebuilt and Reoccupied, 1945-2010" p. 192 (citing Astaire, Leslie et al. (1997) "Living in Scotland" p. 110).
- Ross, Rev. W. (1885) "Aberdour and Inchcolme: Being Historical Notices of the Parish and Monastery" pp. 339-340; "James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell" thepeerage.com, retrieved 3 Sept 2019.
- Ross, Rev. W. (1885) "Aberdour and Inchcolme: Being Historical Notices of the Parish and Monastery" pp. 339-341; Lamont, John (pub. 1830) "The Diary of Mr. John Lamont of Newton. 1649-1671" at 12; Stodart, Robert Riddle (1881) "Scottish Arms, Being a Collection of Armorial Bearings. Vol. 2" p. 417; O’Leary, Rev. E. (1902) "John Lye, of Clonaugh, Co. Kildare" in "Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol. III" pp. 40-41 (quoting Balfour, Sir James, "Annals of Scotland"); Beveridge, D. (1888) "Between the Ochils and Forth" p. 50
- MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1887) "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland from the Twelfth to the Eighteenth Century Vol. 1" p.330.
- Easson, D.E. (1938) "Charters of the Abbey of Inchcolm" pp. 10, 117.
- Ross (1885) pp. 125-127; Beam, A. et al. "Document 3/120/1 (Inchcolm, no. 12)"; Richard, Son of Hugh de Camera, “Charter” (1217) NRS GD172/1, Papers of the Henderson Family of Fordell (GD172); "Person Record: Richard, Son of Hugh de Camera" PoMS no. 887, Retrieved 10 Oct 2019.
- Easson (1938) pp. 17, 130; Notarized transcript (1240) NRS GD172/2, Papers of the Henderson Family of Fordell (GD172).
- Easson (1938) pp. xxxi, 54, 175.
- See Armstrong, W.B. (1893) "The Bruces of Airth and Their Cadets" pp, 7, 9.
- See Paul, J. B. ed. (1882) "RMS ii 1818" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland: 1424-1513" p. 386 ("Joh. Henrisoun de Fordale serjando dicte baronie" witnesses 1465 marriage contract involving Willelmo Scot and Cristiane de Erth, including fractional part ownership of Fordale.
- See Chalmers, George, (1824) "Preface" to Robene and Makyne p. x n.12 ("In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the name was variously written, Henrison, Henrisoun, Henryson, Hendrison, and Henderson, which last became the established form").
- Charter (1510) NRS GD172/9/1; Charter (1511) NRS GD172/11/1; Charter (1511) NRS GD172/12/1; Charter (1511) NRS GD172/14/1; Assignation (1511) NRS GD172/16; Laing, David (1865) "The Poems and Fables of Robert Henryson" at xliv-xlvi (purchases from Alexander Drummond of Ardmore; Elizabeth Erth, Lady of Plane; James Levingstone de Manerstoun; Cristina Hepburn; Alexander Elphingston; and Marjory Hepburn); Armstrong (1893) p. 8.
- Charter under Great Seal (1511) NRS GD172/17; Paul, J. B. ed. (1882) "RMS ii 3570" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland: 1424-1513" p. 768; "Fordell" Fife Place Names, retrieved 2017-11-22 (interpreting Latin RMS 3570).
- See Laing (1865) p. xli; Gifford (1992) p. 226.
- "Diary of Robert Birrel" p. 16 in Dalyell, John Graham (1798) "Fragments of Scotish History" ("The 3 day of Junii , being Thursday, James Hendersone of Fordell has hes place of Fordell brunt by ane suddaine fyre, both the old worke and the new."); Laing (1865) p. xli; Beveridge (1888) p. 49; Gifford (1992) p. 226.
- MacGibbon (1887) vol. 2, p.242; Astaire (1997) p. 114; see Buckner, J.C.R. (1881) Rambles In and Around Aberdour and Burntisland p. 48 (small room, named “Queen Marie’s Boudoir” is said to have been fitted with an altar for her use during her stay).
- Historic Environment Scotland, "Fordell Castle (GDL00182)", retrieved 27 March 2019; Holman, Bob (1952) "Behind the Diamond Panes"; see Letters of horning (1628) NRS GD172/284.
- MacGibbon (1887) vol. 2, p. 242; Suntrup (2008) p. 106-107.
- "Fordell Castle". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
- See, generally, Battle of Inverkeithing; Simpkins, John Ewart (1914) "County Folk-Lore, vol. VII" p. 45 (local lore following Cromwell’s soldiers 1651 quartering at Fordell Mill), citing Buckner, J.C.R. (1881)).
- Burke, Bernard (1862). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. Harrison. p. 682.
- "Fordell House" canmore.org.uk retrieved 2017-11-26 (photos).
- Simpson, Eric (1999) "Dalgety Bay: Heritage and Hidden History" p. 74.
- Laing (1865) p. xlii (interiors restored, the main hall having previously been turned into a stable); Beveridge (1888) p. 50 (castle unoccupied; open to the public weekly)
- Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Hay
- Simpson (1999) p. 77-78.
- Malzahn, Renee Henderson (Winter 2006) "A Beautiful Journey" An Canach pp. 20-21.
- See "Fordell Castle" Parksandgardens.org (accessed 8 Oct 2019).
- "Fordell Castle GDL00182", portal.historicenvironment.scot, retrieved 2017-11-22.
- "Obituaries : Lady 'Sam' Fairbairn". Alt.Obituaries. Google Groups. 27 January 2002.
- Inglis (2011) pp. 191-193 (citing Fairbairn, Nicholas (1987) "A Life is Too Short" pp. 164-167).
- Gulkis, Norm & Sue (Autumn 1997). "Fordell Castle Today". An Canach.
- Obituary: William Inglis (1918-1999), The Herald (15 March 1995) retrieved 25 Nov 2017.
- "Estates in Scotland" (Aug 16, 2007), countrylife.co.uk retrieved 2017-11-25.
- "Properties : Fordell Castle, Near Dunfermline, Fife". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. November 2007.
- Historic Environment Scotland, "Fordell Castle (Category A) (LB3652)", retrieved 27 March 2019
- Easson (1938) p. 117; Barrow, G.W.S. ed. (1971) “The Acts of William I, King of Scots, 1165-1214” p. 34 (Richard witnessed 28 of William I’s acts. Richard’s wife owned land in Fordell, Fife.); Webb, N. (2004) "Settlement and integration in Scotland 1124-1214" (2004) pp. 158 and n. 108 ("Within the King's chamber it appears that there were several camerarii regis working simultaneously under a chamberlain in chief." "Hugh de camera appears to have had a son Richard who witnessed a number of the acts of William I in which he is clearly attached to the chamber . . . ."); see, e.g., William I, King of Scots, "Charter" (1189) NRS GD45/13/244, PoMS doc 1/6/264 (witnessed by "Hugh my Chancellor" (Hug’ Canceallario meo) and "Richard son of Hugh" (Ricardo filio hugonis)); "Person Record: Richard, Son of Hugh de Camera" PoMS no. 887 (identifying Richard, son of Hugh de Camera, as witness to Charter of 1189, PoMS doc 1/6/264).
- Easson (1938) p. 175.
- "James Henderson, 1st of Fordell" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017.
- Paul, J. B. ed. (1882) "RMS ii 2463" and "RMS ii 3309" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland: 1424-1513" p. 524, 707, 928; Easson (1938) p. 134; Chalmers (1824) p. ix.
- Chalmers (1824) p. ix; Douglas, Sir Robert (1798) Baronage of Scotland p. 518.
- Instrument of Renunciation (1517) NRS GD172/21; Instrument of Resignation (1522) NRS GD172/25; Instrument of Sasine (1546) NRS GD172/31; "George Henderson, 2nd of Fordell" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Paul, J. B. ed. (1883) "RMS iii 2775" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A.D. 1513-1546" p. 643 (In 1542, King James V grants portion of land at Fordale to Georgio Henrisoun and Katherine Adamsoun); "RMS iii 3304" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland" p. 771 (In 1546, Mary, Queen of Scots grants additional lands east of Fordel to Georgio Hendersoun de Ferdell and Mariote Scott).
- "James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; see also Douglas (1798) p. 519.
- "Sir John Henderson, 4th of Fordell", thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; see also Douglas (1798) p. 519.
- "Sir John Henderson, 5th of Fordell" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017.
- Douglas (1798) p. 519.
- "Sir John Henderson of Fordell, 1st Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Margaret Hamiltoun grave plaque; Douglas (1798) p. 520.
- "Sir William Henderson, 2nd Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Armstrong (1893) at 44.
- "Jean Hamilton", thepeerage.com, retrieved 27 Dec 2017; Jean Hamilton grave plaque; Douglas (1798) p. 520.
- "Sir John Henderson 3rd Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Douglas (1798) p. 520; see Aikman, William (circle of) (1719) "Portrait of Sir John Henderson of Fordell - 1719" christies.com retrieved 23 Nov 2017; Marriage contract (1716) NRS GD172/409; Note (1760) NRS GD172/423.
- "Sir Robert Henderson, 4th Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Douglas (1798) p. 520; Armstrong (1893) at 44; Isabella Henderson memorial plaque; see Van Ravesteyn, A. (after) "Portrait Of Sir Robert Henderson Of Fordell".
- "Sir John Henderson, 5th Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017.
- Namier, L. (1964) "Henderson, John (1752-1817), of Fordell, Fife" "The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790" historyofparliamentonline.org retrieved 24 Nov 2017.
- "Sir Robert Henderson, 6th Bt." thepeerage.com, retrieved 27 Dec 2017.
- Grave plaque. For the complicated chain of succession between 1817 and 1852, see Malzahn, Renee Henderson (Winter 2006) "A Beautiful Journey" An Canach p. 21.
- "Lt.-Gen. Douglas Mercer-Henderson" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017.
- Burke, Sir Bernard (6th ed. 1879) " Mercer-Henderson of Fordel" "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. 1" p. 768.
- Grome, F. (ed.) (1883) "Fordel""Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: 1884-1885 (Vol. III)" p. 34 ; "Edith Isabella Mercer-Henderson" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; H.H. Duncan-Mercer-Henderson memorial plaque.
- "Georgiana Wilhelmina Haldane-Duncan-Mercer-Henderson" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017; Sidney Carr memorial plaque.
- "John Hampden Mercer-Henderson, 8th Earl of Buckinghamshire" thepeerage.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2017.
- Sam Fairbairn grave plaque; Nicholas Fairbairn grave plaque.
- "Doctor who witnessed Sir Nicholas's codicil to will says he was of sound mind. Secret deal for MP's daughters". The Herald. 11 July 1995. Retrieved 22 Oct 2019.
- "Fordell Castle" castlesworldwide.net retrieved 25 Nov 2017; "Estates in Scotland" (Aug 16, 2007), countrylife.co.uk retrieved 25 Nov 2017.
- "Two partners depart Charterhouse" fnlondon.com 15 Sept 2015, retrieved 8 Oct 2019; "Design Art" howtospendit.ft.com retrieved 25 Nov 2017.
- kellycooperbarr.com, retrieved 25 Nov 2017.
- Kirkwood, H. (2007) "10 Best Houses in Scotland" countrylife.co.uk retrieved 2017-11-24.
- Buckner (1881) p. 44; Tytler, Patrick Fraser (1828) History of Scotland vol 1, p. 342-343.
- See Arnott, Robin G.K. (1992) "Of Monks and Ministers – the story of the Church in Dalgety" p. 29 (Privy Council could resort to torture to extract the "truth" from accused witches. If found guilty, they were "hung from a gibbet in Fordell Wood and then a fire was lit underneath them and their bodies burned to ashes."); see also Ross, Rev. William (1876) "Glimpses of Pastoral Work in the Covenanting Times" p. 199-204 (local customs in 1649 for interrogation, torture, and execution of suspected witches).
- MacGibbon (1887) vol. 2, p. 240.
- Gifford (1992) p. 228.
- Tait, A. (1980) "The Landscape Garden in Scotland: 1735-1835" pp. 171, 259 (citing White, T. (1818) "A Design for the Improvement of the Grounds of Fordel" RHP 3803); see also Triggs, H. Inigo (1988) "Formal Gardens in England and Scotland" pp. 43, 166 ISBN 1851490175 (description and drawing of garden c. 1902).
- "Fordell",The Gardeners' Chronicle, June 25, 1887, pp. 834; Triggs (1988) p. 106; Buckner, J.C.R. (1881) "Rambles In and Around Aberdour and Burntisland" p. 51.
- MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1892) "The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland from the Twelfth to the Eighteenth Century” Vol. 5, pp.428-429.
- Buckner (1881) p. 52.
- "St Theriot's Well - Holy Well or Sacred Spring in Scotland in Fife". megalithic.co.uk. 29 March 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- Ross (1876) p. 26-27.
- "Fordell Castle Chapel" www.scottishchurches.org.uk, Scottish Church Heritage Research Ltd, retrieved 27 August 2017.
- Suntrup, Rudolf; Veenstra, Jan R., eds. (2008). Medieval to Early Modern Culture: Volume 10: Shaping the Present and the Future. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang GmbH. p. 107. ISBN 978-3631556375.
- "Fordell Castle Chapel" www.scottishchurches.org.uk, Scottish Church Heritage Research Ltd, retrieved 27 August 2017.; Charter under Great Seal (1511) NRS GD172/17; Paul, J. B. ed. (1882) "RMS ii 3570" "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland: 1424-1513" p. 768.
- RCAHMS (1933) p. 95.
- RCAHMS (1933) p. 96.
- Buckner (1881) p. 26.
- MacGibbon (1887) vol. 2, p. 242; "Fordell Chapel" canmore.org.uk retrieved 2017-11-26 (1930 photo); see Contract (1653) NRS GD172/309 (contract for building a chapel for John Henryson of Fordell).
- For crypt information, see findagrave.com.
- Historic Environment Scotland, "Fordell Chapel (Category A) (LB3653)", retrieved 27 March 2019
- See Inglis, J.C. and F. (1946) The Fordell Railway; National Museums Scotland collections description, item T.1998.14 ("Railway wagon, of wood with iron wheels, used to ship coal from the Fordell Collieries to St David's Harbour by the Fordell Colliery Railway, Fife, until 1946").
- "Vantage Farm Doocot". Geograph.
- Clark, Robin (4 June 2009). "North Lodge". Geograph. Retrieved 9 Oct 2019.
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- Historic Environment Scotland. "Fordell Castle (GDL00182)". Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.