Mains of Mayen
|Mains of Mayen|
|Name||Mains of Mayen|
|NGR||NJ 57465 47769|
|Lon. & Lat.||57.518139,-2.711712|
|Nearby Castles||Rothiemay, Avochie, Auchanachie, Sandston, Huntly, Carnousie, Auchintoul|
|Year built||15th c.|
The small castle of the Mains of Mayen stands beside a minor road high on the north side of the Deveron valley in Banffshire, about two miles east of Rothiemay. Although now called the Mains, it was the original mansion house of this ancient property. It is an L-plan building, the main block (on the left) lies east and west, with a wing, which has been extended, projecting southward. Within the angle is a circular stair tower. The front door is not original and would probably once have been in the stair tower, which appears to have been remodelled and enlarged when the wing was extended. Inside, the basement is not vaulted and the interior has undergone much modernisation over the years.
The property was originally part of the barony of Rothiemay, which David II bestowed on his faithful adherent William de Abernethy in the 14th century. In 1455 the then Abernethy laird became the first Lord Saltoun. The family held the property until 1612, when it passed to the Gordons. Later (1649) it was purchased by Alexander Hacket, whose daughter carried it to her husband - Alexander Abernethy, a cadet of the Saltoun family again. John Abernethy of Mayen was one of the Jacobites who surrendered at Banff in 1715. John's son James shot dead John Leith of Leith Hall in an Aberdeen street after an election meeting, was outlawed and had to lfee abroad. James Abernethy died unmarried and intestate in 1785 and the property passed to Major Alexander Duff, husband of his elder sister, who started to build the more modern mansion nearby, after which this house became The Mains.