Drumin Castle

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Drumin Castle
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Location Information
Name Drumin Castle
Owner ruins
NGR NJ 1843 3034
Lon. & Lat. 57.356318,-3.357352
Council Moray
Parish Inveravon
Nearby Castles Kilnmaichlie, Blairfindy
Year built 14th c.
Overview map
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Few records of the Castle’s history have survived and the exact date of construction is unknown. King Robert II granted the lands of Badenoch and Strathavon (including Drumin) to his son Alexander Stewart in the early 1370’s. It is thought that the Castle was built around that time on the site of previous fortifications which may originally have been an Iron Age Dun. Certainly Alexander had the power and resources to construct such an impressive fortification – Drumin Castle walls are around 2 m thick!

Alexander Stewart (1342-1406), Earl of Buchan otherwise known as the "Wolf of Badenoch" is remembered for his temper and harsh justice. In particular he was responsible for the sacking and burning of Elgin Cathedral in 1390, as a result of a long term feud with the Bishop of Moray. Along with Drumin, he also occupied the island strongholds of Lochindorb (near Grantown on Spey) and Loch-an-Eilean (near Aviemore). It is thought he spent more time at these other fortresses than at Drumin during his iron-fisted rule of this north east corner of Scotland.

The Wolf’s grandson Sir Walter Stewart subsequently fell heir to the Castle. In 1490, exactly 100 years after the sacking of Elgin he passed the Castle and all of the lands pertaining to Drumin to Alexander, 3rd Earl of Huntly. The Earl did not reside at Drumin, leaving his son Alexander Gordon and later in 1546 the Grants of Freuchie to act as his bailies and to manage the Gordon affairs in Badenoch and Strathavon. At different times after 1490 the Castle continued to be occupied by the Stewart family up to the mid Eighteenth Century but only as tenants. Charles Stewart of Drumin is thought to have been the last resident of the Castle, which is presumed to have fallen into disuse about this time. In 1818-19 a new house (now the present farmhouse) was built at Drumin for William Mitchell factor to the Duke of Gordon. Much of the stone from the Castle ruins would have been used in the construction of the house and the adjoining steadings. The only other notable reference to the Castle in the intervening period was that the Marquis of Argyll stopped here with his army before the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594.

Between 1999-2003 The Crown Estate with grant aid from Historic Scotland stabilised the Castle ruins which are now open to the public.


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