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Report - Slains Castle Aberdeenshire - May 2011


Urban Ex-snorer
28DL Full Member
Slains Castle Cruden Bay

Having lived near by for quite a while I finally took the opportunity to visit Slains Castle at Cruden Bay. Unlike other castles in Scotland, which are normally cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, Slains Castle has been left to nature and the elements, which is part of its appeal and charm.

You can walk around Slains Castle and enter the Castle and walk around the ground floor, corridors, the Great Hall, courtyard, billiard room, kitchens, larders, staff accommodation and library. Outer rooms still visible include the stables, outhouses and the towers.

At the rear there is a small grassed area which leads to sudden cliff drops. This area was grassed tennis courts and a croquet lawn before erosion by the sea.

The original Slains Castle was located at Collieston and was built around 1200 as a fortress, but there is nothing left of this building that was destroyed by King James VI in 1594. It was blown up to punish the Earl of Erroll for his part in a revolt against him with the Earl of Huntly. In 1597, the 9th Earl of Erroll returned from his exile and built a new castle, called New Slains, with further extensions in 1664 and 1836. Notable visitors include Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell and of course Bram Stoker who used the castle as the inspiration for Dracula. Bram Stoker stayed in the nearby hotel, The Kilmarnock Arms, whilst he wrote his novel. Early drafts of his novel had Dracula coming ashore at Cruden Bay after his sea voyage from Transylvania. However, this was changed to Whitby in Yorkshire for the final published work.

Building costs and high living did little for the family finances and in 1916 death duties forced the 20th Earl of Erroll to sell Slains Castle. The new owner allowed the castle to fall into disrepair, and in 1925 its roof was removed.

In October 2007 it was announced that Slains Castle ruins would be closed to the public. In 2008 Aberdeenshire Council granted Slains Partnership planning permission to convert the ruins into a luxury housing development, as yet no work has been done with current planning permission due to expire within 5yrs of acceptance.

Here come the photos, and yes, despite being Scotland, the sky is that blue and the sea is that green, these are raw pics direct from Ixus50 to you, no photoshopping! :)


Approach to the Castle


South Tower and Keep


Inner Corridor


Inner Corridor


The Dungeons!!! Most likely the pantry :)


The expansive Gardens with a free boat






Detail over Hall


Grand Entrance






The only floor left standing....almost ;)



Sea View


Spiral Staircase


Let there be light!


An amusing shaped rock - answers on a postcard!

Hope you enjoyed my pics. :thumb


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