Carnousie Castle

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Carnousie Castle
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Location Information
Name Carnousie Castle
Owner private
NGR NJ 67188 50409
Lon. & Lat. 57.542593,-2.549841
Council Aberdeenshire
Parish Forglen
Nearby Castles Mains of Mayen, Auchintoul
Year built 1577
Overview map
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Carnousie was a barony created in 1369 for Walter de Leslie, Earl of Ross, the original manor house being on or beside a mote called the Mount of Magy where Castlehill Farm now lies at the head of the Maggie Burn. It later passed to various other families and was held by the Dunbars until 1530 when it was granted to Walter Ogilvy of Monycabock. James V licensed Walter to build a new fortified house on the lands but it was actually his second son Walter who built the present building which is dated 1577 on a stone now reset in its original position as the stair tower SW skewput. It is mentioned as new in a charter of 1583 when Carnousie was sold by Walter to his brother Sir George Ogilvy of Dunlugas. Sir George then handed over the castle and barony to his second son George, who had married Walter’s daughter Margaret. They complained to the Privy Council in 1622 about the depredations of Robert Innes and others on the estate. Their son George was created a baronet but got into debt, the wasting of his estates by Royalists in the 1640s not having helped. To settle the debts the lands were finally sold off in 1683 to Sir George Gordon. His grandson Arthur died in exile after taking part in the 1745 rebellion and Carnousie was in 1757 sold to Lord Seafield, by whom it was quickly sold to George Hay, both of them being creditors of Arthur Gordon. George Hay extended the building before selling it to Colonel Patrick Duff. Again there was financial difficulties, forcing his son in 1825 to sell the estate in 1827 to the Stewards of Belladrum. There were further sales of the property in 1827 to Alexander Grant, in 1842 to and Aberdeen advocate named Gordon, and to William Harvey in 1843. The estate was broken up in 1927 and the castle went to the Bisset family. After the war the castle was abandoned and contained only pigs when it was purchased by a restorer and re-roofed, the 18th century wing demolished, and work begun on the interior. After difficulties were encountered the castle was sold to David Williams.


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