Follow us...
Home  >  Castles of Aberdeenshire and Scotland  >  Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle

The bonnie pink fairytale looking Craigievar Castle at Alford, Aberdeenshire is an L Plan building, though built upwards instead of sideways. With its striking turrets, towers, cupolas, gargoyles and corbelling, it is a splendid example of Scottish Baronial architecture and remains largely unspoiled. Its pink colour adds to its charm, whilst the seven storey height gives it an air of magnificence.

Craigievar Castle

It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

Follow us on: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Contact Me.

My new novel:

The Fence Aberdeen Zombie post apocalyptic military survival Novel Book

The Aberdeen skies are under attack from an enemy jet. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, people start killing each other.
Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses this and then his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.
Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?
The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of local horror and science fiction novel writer C.G. Buswell.

Download Now.

Buy the Paperback.

Craigievar Castle History

It was named after a nearby hill and the original was built sometime in the 14th Century and owned by the Mortimer family. Though this building was never finished and the family was forced to sell it and land to William Forbes of Menie in 1610 due to financial troubles.

The building as it appears today commenced in 1610 and in 1626 The Great Tower was built by William Forbes (nicknamed Danzig Willie). From then it had been lived in by the Forbes and Forbes-Sempill family.

It was bought by a consortium in 1963 from the Forbes-Sempill family and donated to The National Trust for Scotland in 1963.

Touring is timed and organised by guides who take you from each room, describing points of interest about Craigievar Castle history. Some of the stairs are quite narrow and steep.

The Great Hall is the central attraction, with its secret staircase, musician's gallery and large fireplace with the Stuart Arms.

There still survives a collection of family portraits and furniture dating back to the 17th Century. Original painted ceilings remain remarkably preserved.

Visitors can travel the secret staircase of the Laird which was used as an escape route from The Hall to the top of the Tower.

At the main staircase you can see the coat of arms which dates back to 1668 and delivers the Forbes family motto: "Doe not vaiken sleiping dogs."

Take note of the only entrance and how narrow it and the staircase are - though many a Forbes family member enteredby the door - they all left by a window as it was too narrow a building to carry a coffin out! Though this only entrance did make it easier to defend and Craigievar Castle never fell in battle, even during the fiercest clan attacks.

There is a small car park. Unfortunately it is not open for tour buses due to the limited access.

Toilets are situated by the car park.

Beside the car park is a small picnic area with benches and seats. Behind this is a marked woodland walk.

Aberdeen Lynne Golden Retriever

Have you seen my beautiful golden retriever Lynne out and about in Aberdeen? Ask her for a high-five! She's a Bravehound PTSD assistance dog, so we'll often be in shops, restaurants, and the cinema together.

We've written a book where I talk about growing up in Aberdeen and then joining the army to be a medic and nurse, and developing military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I also talk about losing my son to suicide and the therapy I have had at Royal Cornhill Hospital and grief support groups in Aberdeen.

The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:

"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."


Buy the paperback.

One last war aberdeen author
An army veteran moves his family back to his Aberdeenshire home, but his nightmare neighbour starts a battle of wits with him. Who will win this One Last War?
Buy this latest novel by local author C.G. Buswell on Kindle or Paperback.

Advertise Here from just £70.

Advertise On About Aberdeen

To get there from Aberdeen take the A944 then join the A980.

AB33 8JF

Tel: (01339) 883635

More Scottish Castles.

It closed from October 2007 so that the exterior walls can be re-harled. Though a new cement based mix was added to the outside walls in the 1970s this has not allowed the moisture to escape naturally and caused a spot of damp. Workman and craftsmen will now use traditional methods of lime and sand and this harling work was undertaken by Laing Traditional Masonry who used hand held tools rather than mechanical tools to further reduce any internal damage by vibrations. It is thought that the total cost of the building work was more than half a million pounds which was funded partly from a grant aid from Historic Scotland and from a private donation.

The gardens have expanded in the form of a nature trail and new paths. These were opened by the pupils of Craigievar Primary School during their eco-health week. Other recent work on the exterior include National Trust for Scotland (NTS) volunteer teams restoring the walled gardens. This included adding a summerhouse that looks like a pavilion. This was built in memory of Callum Melville a local 21 year old who died in a Tasmanian hostel blaze on New Year Day 2004.

It was re-opened in June 2010 by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla (the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay). They cut a special ribbon of Forbes Tartan and had a tour of the recently renovations.

Landward on BBC2 Scotland visited in March 2010 to see how the restoration work was progressing. They chatted with the cleaning volunteers and tour staff about how they cleaned the inside and how it may have affected the ghosts of Craigievar Castle!

On Sunday 17 June 2007 at 9pm there was a TV programme called How We Built Britain on BBC 1. The television documentary was presented by David Dimbleby and this edition was filmed in Scotland. Part of this was from the tower house. David Dimbleby toured the building and showed the viewer the rooms which included the doorway to the secret staircase.

He also went to Kinross House, the tenements of Glasgow, Stirling Castle, Dunrobin Castle, Slains Castle, Crovie and Aberdeen City where he visited the many granite buildings including Marschall College.
© Site contents copyright 2004-2024. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy / Disclaimer