Fyvie Castle

Coordinates: 57°26′36″N 2°23′42″W / 57.4433°N 2.3949°W / 57.4433; -2.3949
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fyvie Castle
Near Turriff in Aberdeenshire
Coordinates57°26′36″N 2°23′42″W / 57.4433°N 2.3949°W / 57.4433; -2.3949
Site information
WebsiteCastle Website
Site history
In use13th Century
Location of Fyvie Castle within Aberdeenshire
Fyvie Castle by James Giles
Fyvie Castle - painting by James Giles

Fyvie Castle is a castle in the village of Fyvie, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.


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. Instead, it 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. He 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 28 October 1644. The battlefield was added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland in 2011.[1] Anne Halkett stayed at the castle from 1650 to 1652 with the Countess of Dunfermline, she treated wounded soldiers and the illnesses of local people, and negotiated with the English major of a company of Commonwealth soldiers, and with three Colonels, Lilburne, Fitts, and Overton.[2]

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. His descendants sold it to the National Trust for Scotland in 1984.

To the East, there is a walled garden which is currently a garden of Scottish Cultivated Fruits.[3] There is evidence for two other walled gardens closer to the castle itself to its West and South.[4] The one to the west appears on an estate plan of 1768.[5]


The castle (like many places in Scotland) has ghostlore associated with it.[6] 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.[7] It is unclear 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.[8]

One of the curses has been attributed to the prophetic laird, Thomas the Rhymer. The curse is said to have been part of the mysterious three weeping stones. The curse decrees that until all three stones taken from the castle's boundary marks are brought together, the firstborn sons of the families who live at Fyvie will never inherit the castle. Only one weeping stone is known to exist and is kept at the castle. The other two have never been found.

The second curse involves a hidden room in the charter room. The curse is very specific: death to the lord of the castle or blindness to his wife if anyone disturbs it.

In the media[edit]

Fyvie Castle has featured in a number of British television programmes, such as Living TV's Most Haunted series 6.[9] and stv's Castles of Scotland. The castle also played host of the setting of a children's gameshow on CBBC called Spook Squad in 2004. 2009 saw the publication of the children's fantasy novel, The Time-Tailor and the Fyvie Castle Witch Trials, written by Deborah Leslie. The castle was also featured in BBC documentary, Castle Ghosts of Scotland,[10] narrated by Robert Hardy. Fyvie Castle is the focus of episode 34 of the popular "How Haunted?" podcast.

In recent years, the castle grounds have hosted a Fyvie Live music festival in the summer, which was headlined in 2011 by Beverley Knight and in 2012 by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, then following a gap of several years, by The Shires in 2017. Following the revival, it was announced that the event would take place again in 2018, with Ward Thomas as the headline act.

Today, the castle is open to tourists during the summer months.

Side view of the castle


  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Battle of Fyvie (BTL22)". Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  2. ^ John Gough Nichols, Autobiography of the Lady Halkett (London, 1875), pp. 64-71
  3. ^ "Fyvie Castle - Scotland's Gardens". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Plan Of The Lands Of Fyvie And Surrounding Lands, Aberdeenshire | ScotlandsPlaces". scotlandsplaces.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Ghostly ground: a look at some of the most haunted places in Scotland". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  7. ^ Anthony D. Hippisley Coxe, Haunted Britain, page 177, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York 1973
  8. ^ The Green Lady of Fyvie Castle
  9. ^ "LIVING : Most Haunted". Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  10. ^ www.imdb.com

External links[edit]