Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Hope for Blairfindy Castle?

Blairfindy, Moray, is a ruined 16th century L-plan tower house situated on the banks of the River Livit at Castletown, however the nearby Glenlivet Distillery might prove a better guide!

blairfindy 2015
Blairfindy in 2015 in critical condition - note the fragile wall head and extensive cracking

Blairfindy was built in 1564 by John Gordon the 2nd Marquess of Huntly. Lord Huntly was imprisoned there prior to his execution in 1649.

The ground floor was vaulted and the wing contained a wide staircase to the hall with further progress via a corbelled turret in the re-entrant angle.

An unusual feature is the boldly corbelled-out box machicolation above the entrance. This is a ‘trademark’ of earlier castles but the Gordons seem to feel it was necessary to include this feature even at this late date.

blairfindy 1905
Blairfindy in 1905 was still in fairly good condition - note the box machicolation

The shell is complete to the wall head but there are significant cracks in the wall which, if left unattended, will bring about collapse.

A study of the castle was carried out some years ago but nothing transpired until 2013 when the Crown Estates undertook emergency work to prevent an immediate catastrophe. There is no money to take the process further.

What are the options?

The first must be stabilisation. The walls have spread but this has been arrested by means of metal bands. The only option for its long term survival is occupation and it is considered that Blairfindy would easily lend itself to modern requirements.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.

Added: 20 Aug 2015 Updated: 28 Mar 2018
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