Discover Aberdeenshire's Castle Country

Corgarff Castle in the Cairngorms

Nestled within the remote landscape of Cairngorms National Park, Corgarff Castle is just 3 miles from the Lecht, a Mecca for skiing in Scotland.  With its currently white-washed  exterior, Corgarff Castle truly stands out from its environment; the green hilly landscape of the Cairngorms. Those wanting to visit a fairytale-esque Scottish castle would surely be disappointed with Corgarff Castle, as this Castle doesn't feature any fairytale type towers and instead has a far more austere appearance.  If you like a grisly tale though and the odd ghost or two, Corgarff Castle could be for you!

Corgarff Castle, an Austere Looking Castle in the Wilds of the Cairngorms.

Corgarff CastleWith a harsh foreboding exterior, Corgarff Castle has none of the grandeur or sympathetic design seen in some of the more romantic looking Scottish castles.  There's something quite military looking about this historic castle and this is by virtue of its history.  Corgarff Castle was originally built in the 16th century and razed to the ground by fire.  The current Corgarff Castle was built in the 18th century as barracks, hence the steely unwelcoming exterior!  
Unusually, the castle sits within a star-shaped wall, which envelops the castle.  This wall was built for defensive reasons when the castle assumed a military function in the 1700s.


A History of Corgarff Castle; Feuds, Murder and Military Connections


Corgarff Castle has a somewhat grisly history.  Built in or around 1550 for the Forbes of Towie, this clan were involved in feuds with other Scottish clans which resulted in their castle being burned down in around 1571 and the Forbes family and servants being killed in the fire.   Around 27 women, children and servants were killed when the castle was torched.  Bearing in mind its ill-fated past, it should be no surprise that the castle is believed to be haunted!


 The castle ruins were then abandoned until they  came in to the ownership of the Earl or Mar in the 1600s.  The castle was repaired and occupied by the Marquis of Montrose in the mid 1600s.  The castle was then again set fire to by the Jacobites in the late 1600s.  


Corgarff Castle was then re-built as a barracks in the mid 1700s, when the exterior star-shaped wall was established.  The history of the castle gets even more interesting as it was home to a legal whisky distillery in the 1820s!  The castle was subsequently abandoned by the military in the mid 1800s.

Modern Day:

Corgarff is now under the care and protection of Historic Environment Scotland who do a sterling job at preserving some of Scotland's finest historical buildings.

What to See at Corgarff CastleCorgarff Castle behind star shaped wall

A visit to Corgarff Castle will particularly appeal to those who like to visit castles that have seen military use.  There are reconstructed barrack rooms that you can visit to get a taste of what life was like here for regiments posted at the castle in the 1700s.


Where is Corgarff Castle?

Corgarff Castle is found in the North East of the unspoilt Cairngorms National Park, close to the famous Lecht, an area popular for hiking, mountaineering and skiing.  The surrounding landscape around Corgarff Castle is stunning and local residents include roe deer, hares and various birds of prey.


Corgarff Castle Address:

Corgarff Castle
Near Strathdon
AB36 8YP