Discover Aberdeenshire's Castle Country

Huntly Castle, from Glory Days to Ruins

Huntly Castle Aberdeenshire

Cared for and protected by Historic Environment Scotland.  Huntly Castle, now in a ruinous state, is an interesting castle that has witnessed tumultuous times.
Situated close to the River Deveron, with a reddish hue, Huntly Castle was a fine building in its day and benefits from an appealing location nestled within the Aberdeenshire countryside close to the town of Huntly.

One large tower remains, along with some exterior walls , an elaborate stone fireplace and some fine stone carvings.  Some of the beautiful inscriptions can still be seen on some of the castle walls, and when you visit, although much is ruined, you can still get a feel for how impressive, extensive and majestic this castle would have been in its day.

Visiting Huntly Castle

It's possible to visit Huntly Castle all year round from Monday to Sunday, except from October to the end of March when the Castle is closed on Thursdays and Fridays.


Huntly Castle Address:

AB54 4SH


Huntly Castle's Changing Fortunes

There has been a castle at the site of Huntly Castle for over 600 years.  Originally there was a motte with a wooden castle, the remains of which can still be seen close to the ruins of modern day Huntly Castle.  Robert the Bruce was a guest at this earlier castle in the early 1300s when the castle was under the ownership of the Earl of Fife and Atholl.  Following the death of this Earl, the castle was passed to his son, who switched to supporting the English rather than Robert the Bruce.  Later on in the 1300s, following his victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce then gave the castle to Sir Adam Gordon of Huntly.

In the early 1400s, the Gordon family replaced the original castle with a stone-built tower house.  This castle though was not around for long and was burned in the 1450s by the Earl of Moray.  Repaired and rebuilt to a more elaborate castle in the 1460s, the castle was renamed in the 1500s (it had previously been known as Strathbogie Castle) to Huntly Castle.

By the mid 1550s, the Earl of Huntly had become one of the most powerful and wealthy men in Scotland and was Scotland's Lord Chancellor.  As befitting a man of his status, this Earl extended the castle in to a grand building and was then killed in battle in the 1560s.  The subsequent Earl of Huntly, then repaired the castle in the 1590s and it was then attacked by the King, then repaired, extended and improved once more.

Decorative features, the elaborate fireplace that can still be seen and some of the inscriptions including 'George Gordon First Marquis of Huntlie' were added in the 1600s.  

In 1640, the army occupied the castle, and then in 1644 Lord Charles Gordon held the castle under attack but was starved in to admitting defeat and then executed.  

In the 1740s, Huntly Castle was held by the army when attacked by the Jacobites.

Since then, the castle has increasingly fallen in to disrepair.  Visit and imagine just what events and turbulent times this castle has seen!


Find out more about Aberdeenshire's Castles