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Location Information
Name Cairnbulg
Owner Lady Saltoun
NGR NK 01686 63964
Lon. & Lat. 57.665536,-1.973842
Council Aberdeenshire
Parish Rathen
Nearby Castles Cairness
Year built 14th C.
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Sir Alexander Fraser obtained the estate of Philorth in 1375 by marrying a daughter of the Earl of Ross. The Fraser family continued here at the Castle, the old Manor Place of Philorth, until the late 16th century. In the last quarter of that century, Sir Alexander Fraser, 8th of Philorth, built the town of Fraserburgh, improved the Harbour and founded a University there and built another Castle to which he moved and which was until recently the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse. As a result he got heavily into debt and in 1613 was obliged to sell this Castle and a great deal of land. The Castle was sold to Alexander Fraser of Durris on condition that should he or his descendants ever wish to sell it, they would first offer it to Sir Alexander or his descendants. The agreement was not honoured and the Castle passed from one family to another. From 1613 to 1631 or 1637 it belonged to Fraser of Durris, then until 1703 to Fraser of Muchalls (created Lord Fraser), then until 1739 to Thomas Buchan of Auchmacoy and his son, then until 1775 to Alexander Aberdein and his son. From 1775 to 1801 it belonged to George, 3rd Earl of Aberdeen, who vandalised it to build and improve other houses in the district in which he kept his mistresses. By 1780 both towers were in a ruinous condition, and the building in between a ruin. After him it belonged to his illegitimate son John Gordon. In 1863 the ruin was bought by Mr. Duthie of the Aberdeen shipbuilding firm who built and owned the famous tea clippers. In 1896 his nephew, Sir John Duthie, restored the Castle using granite which was his wife's tocher from her father who was a stone merchant. Their initials and motto are over the present front door. He died in 1923.


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