Kincardine Castle, Royal Deeside
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Kincardine Castle is a Victorian country house in Royal Deeside, Scotland. It is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) north-east of the village of Kincardine O'Neil, and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of Aboyne on the north side of the River Dee, Aberdeenshire.
The castle was built in 1894-6 to Scots Baronial designs by Niven and Wigglesworth of London. David Barclay Niven trained in Dundee and moved to the office of Sir Aston Webb in London where he swiftly became principal designer at the time Webb was working on designs for the Victoria and Albert Museum. Webb later went on to design notable London buildings including Admiralty Arch, The Mall and the principal facade of Buckingham Palace. Herbert Hardy Wigglesworth trained in Aberdeen under Alexander Marshall Mackenzie before moving to the London office of Ernest George and Peto. The architects set up in business together and Kincardine Castle was their first major commission. They were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and this shows in the design which incorporates features from five centuries of building styles. The building is essentially an essay on architecture.
The entrance tower hints back to a 14th century keep with its plain rendered walls, battlement and cap house. There's even a high-level door half hidden by the ornate portico. The addition of windows in the SW face of this tower in the 1930s somewhat detracted from the intended effect. Another tower consists of twin drum towers corbelled to the square and back again to round turrets and these twin towers are linked with an arch - the whole is similar in effect to the Seaton Tower at Fyvie Castle from 1599. While the building has five circular turrets it also has one square turret very similar in style to those at Crathes Castle (late 16th Century). Much of the remainder of the building reflects fairly standard Scottish Baronial architecture from 17th and 18th centuries. The rear elevation of the building is the plainest and more akin to the work of Charles Rennie Macintosh though the architects retained crow-stepped gables and as a result the property doesn't leak as disastrously as Macintosh's Hill House. It is a category B listed building. The house was built on the site of, and incorporating part of, an earlier building called Kincardine Lodge, dating from around 1780.
Around 1900, T. H. Mawson discussed the possibility of planning gardens, but no plans were produced. At the heart of a 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) estate, the castle is not open to the public, but serves as a venue for meetings, private dining, marquee events and weddings. There are extensive gardens including a Walled Garden, Planetary Garden and Wilderness which are open for one day in June under the Scotland's Gardens scheme and at Pop-up events such as the regular First Friday café held on the 1st Friday of each month (except January and possibly August).