Blairfindy Castle

This castle is in the Moray Council and the Inveravon Parish.
Scheduled Monument record on the Portal.
Listed Building record on the Portal.


The castle is situated above the Pass of Livet, historically an important routeway between Bamfshire and Aberdeenshire. It consists of a 4-storey, L-plan tower house built of whin and sandstone random rubble in lime mortar with rough granite dressings. The walls are founded on large boulders just at ground level.

The tower is entered through a round-headed entrance at ground level in the NE re-entrant angle. This has the remains of a boldly corbelled out box machicolation above. The ground floor of the main block had a vaulted kitchen and cellar accessed by a corridor. The cellar has a narrow stair rising up to the hall. The vaulting was intact in the 1890s but has subsequently collapsed. Above was the hall, a second floor chamber and a third floor attic chamber giving access to a corbelled round or bartizan and the box machicolation. The wing or jamb contained a wide staircase to the first floor, with access to the upper floors being by a circular stair corbelled out between the junction of the wing and main block.


The tower house is commonly believed to have been constructed by the Gordon family and served as hunting seat for the earls of Huntly. A datestone set above the entrance bears the date 1586, the initials IG and HG and the family's coat-of-arms. However, it have been suggested that the castle was completed as early 1564 by a John Gordon. In 1647, the 2nd Marquess of Huntly was imprisoned here, one of his own houses, before his trail and execution in Edinburgh in 1649.


The ruins of Blairfindy Castle, a tower-house, overlook the banks of the River Livet near the modern hamlet of Castleton. The castle is owned by the Crown Estate.

Conservation Options

The shell of castle is largely complete to the wall head. However, the vaulting and main stair have collapsed internally. There are also a number of very significant settlement cracks in the tower and 2 teirs of metal straps help to contain the spread of the walls at the upper levels. The tower will therefore require extensive work simply to stabilise its structure before any restoration work is begun.

Although the castle has some interesting features (the box machicolation), it shares many characteristics with other tower houses of this date. Taken with its condition, it is therefore considered that it would be possible to restore it for modern occupation without detracting from its significance. It is also considered that the planning of the castle would lend itself to modern requirements quite easily.


D. MacGibbon and T. Ross, The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, Edinburgh, vol 2,1887, p82

N Tranter, The fotified house in Scotland: North and West Scotland and Miscellaneous, Edinburgh, vol. 5, 1970, pp 49-50