Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Publication Account

Date 1986

Event ID 1017223

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Standing high and lonely, in command of the road links to the Dee, the Avon and the Don, Corgarff's plain white walls belie a turbulent history. The oblong tower at the core of the structure was built in 1537 but damaged in 1571 when a party of Gordons from Auchindoun Castle burned the castle, along with the laird's wife, Margaret Forbes, her family and servants 'to a total of 27'. This foul deed, part of the endemic Gordon/Forbes, Catholic/Protestant rivalry, is told in the ballad Edom O' Cordon.

In 1645 Montrose spent a month here before the battle of Alford and in 1715 the earl of Mar encamped here before raising the Jacobite standard at Braemar.

The most striking feature of Corgarff, the star-shaped curtain wall, was built in 1748 when, like Braemar Castle (NO 156923), it was taken over by the Hanoverian government and garrisoned as a centre from which to track down Jacobite rebels. The curtain wall is pierced by musket loops, while the two singlestorey pavilions that flank the tower were also added then as bakehouse/brewhouse (west) and guardroom and prison (east).

The final episode in the castle's life came in 1827-31 when a captain, subaltern and 56 men were stationed here to check the whisky smuggling in Strathdon. The tower has now been restored and the barrack room furnished with double box-beds and cast-iron fuel boxes and grates.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Grampian’, (1986).

People and Organisations