|NGR||NJ 95980 30743|
|Lon. & Lat.||57.367148,-2.067956|
|Nearby Castles||Esslemont, Tulqhon, House of Leask, Tillyhilt, Haddo|
|Year built||16th c.|
A public bus shelter lies on the Moot Hill in Market Street which is the site of an early castle of the Comyns. The ruin lying in an estate once known as Kermucks, HE of the town bears arms of 1635 with the names of James Kennedy and Isobel Cheyne, although the building may actually be partly 16th Century. After a violent incident called “The Slaughter of Westertown” in 1652 when a neighboring Forbes Laird was killed, this branch of the Kennedies was outlawed from the mainland of Scotland and was obliged to sell Ellon in 1657. James Gordon, Baillie of Edinburgh, bought the property in 1706 and it was he who landscaped the gardens and created the terrace. After his death his two eldest sons were murdered by their tutor and in 1752 their mother sold the estate to a kinsman, George, 3rd Earl of Aberdeen. In the 1780s the Earl had the old castle greatly extended by adding two wings. In it he installed his mistress Penelope Dering. The succession was disputed on his death as he had two other mansions also furnished with mistresses and their offspring, but eventually Penelope’s son, Alexander Gordon, became laird of Ellon. The house was then in a decayed state and he built a new residence to the west. Explosives were used to destroy most of the old building but the surviving fragment was left as a garden ornament. The new house was itself destroyed in the 1920s when another mansion was created out of a former stable block and servants quarters. The remains of the old castle comprise the south wall with a lofty round tower at the SE corner. The part adjacent to it had three upper stories over a cellar vaulted from south to north. The portion to the west may be later and has evidence of two vaults arched from east to west. At the SW corner are traces of a later stair.