|NGR||NJ 56332 30714|
|Lon. & Lat.||57.364789,-2.727653|
|Nearby Castles||Wardhouse 1, Lesmoir, Craig of Auchindoir, Knockespock, Westhall|
Wardhouse may have received it’s name from an older Castle (literally down the road from it’s location), of the same name, that was built by the Gordons.
While there is a wealth of information about the Gordon of Wardhouse family (The “Spanish Gordons”), information on the house itself is very sketchy. Construction on Wardhouse was started in 1757, and wasn’t completed until 1815. Clearly it seems to be a case of a Gordon hoping to create a seat, if not to rival, at least to emulate his kinsman at Haddo (built in the 1730’s). The plan of Wardhouse is the conventional one of Haddo although with variations. For example. the central portion of the main block not only breaks forward but it rises clear above the wall-head. As is usual with the majority of eighteenth century Aberdeenshire mansions, the basement is not sunk, because of the need to excavate rock, and so at Wardhouse the basement is also the principal entrance.
Despite the family living much of the time in Spain, Wardhouse flourished in the 19th century, being used as a sort of Balmoral, and as a home for various unmarried aunts and cousins. The Granary was used for large entertainments. Carlos Pedro, the Laird who spent most of the year in Scotland, gave a grand dinner and ball at New Year 1873; ninety gentlemen were at the dinner and 190 couples at the ball. In 1906 the King of Spain spent his honeymoon at Wardhouse - having survived an assassination attempt on his wedding day. But the fall of the Spanish monarchy in 1931 led to the fall of his friend Rafael Carlos Gordon, who arrived at Wardhouse destitute, having left his Countess and son in Spain. He died a few months later. The house was then let to shooting parties and was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War, but all rents and compensations found their way to Spain.
In 1952 the estate was sold and ravaged. The mature trees were felled, the house was unroofed and gutted, and all the doors and interior woodwork removed. In 2004 a restoration movement was started.