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Location Information
Name Rothiemay
Owner ruins
NGR NJ 55360 48459
Lon. & Lat. 57.524476,-2.747468
Council Moray
Parish Rothiemay
Nearby Castles Avochie, Mains of Mayen, Auchanachie, Auchaynanie, Auchintoul
Year built 15th c.
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In the 15th and 16th Centuries, Rothiemay Castle was a seat of the Abernethys, Lord Saltoun. In 1562 Alexander Abernethy, 6th Lord Saltoun, was host here to Queen Mary for a night during her campaign against the Gordons. His lands were dangerously near the Gordon power base at Huntly and in 1568 he and other northern barons reported to the Privy Council of the infant James VI that “thair landos, rowmes and possessionis wer and ar in utter perrell and dnageit to be invaidot and persewit with fyre, swerd and all uther kind of hostilities by George, Earl of Huntlie, his assistaris and complices”.

In 1612 the 8th Lord Saltoun sold Rothiemay to Sir James Stewart of Killeith, later Lord Ochiltree, who in 1617 sold Rothiemay to John Gordon of Cairnburrow. 1618 Patrick Livingstone of Inchcorse took refuge at Rothiemay from George Gordon of Gight after a quarrel over the will of Dame Margaret Stewart, Lady Saltoun. Gordon of Gight just failed to capture Livingstone by surprise outside the house and after a complaint was made to the Privy Council was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle.

William Gordon of Rothiemay was one of the those burnt to death in the mysterious fire at the neighboring Crichton seat of Frendraught in 1630. His widow engaged a party of wild Highlanders to make “daylie incursions against Frendret, and kill some of his men”, although it is clear that they also on occasion maltreated their employer. The Sheriff of Banff drove out the highlanders from Rothiemay and returned shortly afterwards to displace a party of troublesome Gordon. He garrisoned the house with “powder, bullet, and 24 souldiours” and removed Lady Rothiemay off to Edinburgh for trial by the Privy Council. She was imprisoned there from April 1635 until February 1637 when Charles I ordered the council to terminate her trial and set her free on sufficient sureties.

Rothiemay was captured by Montrose from a Covenant garrison in October 1644. In August 1651 it was taken over and held for some years by Cromwellian troops. The Rothiemay Gordons got into debt and in 1712 sold the estate to Lord Boyne’s son Archibald Ogilvie. In 1741 it was acquired by William Duff, Lord Braco, later Earl of Fife. He lived there with his large family for many years and made some of the additions. The Forbes family purchased the estate in 1890 from the Duffs.

At the turn of the 1900s however the Castle was owned by the Forbes Family until they sold it too a Dutchman in the 1950s. The castle was soon to run into disrepair during the time of his ownership and in 1961 Mrs Traquare (the former Daughter of Forbes) purchased it Back. On the advice of her surveyor the Castle was demolished by dynamite in 1963, but sometime later Mrs Traquare found that the survey showed inaccuracies and the Castle should not have been demolished. A house built by Mrs Traquare now stands on the site and incorporates some of the features salvaged from the Castles destruction, as does the Village Hall, with some figureheads, built into the wall and the Church of Scotland Building with a doorway and Arch in the south wall.


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