Click for Bookshop

Fordell Castle

Fordell Castle is located at the centre of a 84-ha (210-acre) estate 1¼ miles (2 km) northwest of Dalgety Bay (Fife). This Z-plan tower house lies on a steep promontory above the Fordell Burn and was built in 1567 on the site of an earlier structure. Comprising a rectangular main block, aligned east-to-west, with square stair-towers at opposite corners, the castle includes three storeys and a basement. The castle was destroyed by fire, but rebuilt and enlarged c.1580. The castle was damaged again by Oliver Cromwell's army in 1651.

The lands of Fordell were given to the Henderson family by King James IV in 1511. Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed here when Marion Scott, one of her Ladies-in-Waiting, married George Henderson, the laird. The family had built a new mansion nearby by the 19th C., but they kept the castle in good repair. In 1866, the estate passed by marriage to Hew Duncan, second son of the Earl of Camperdown. The castle was restored as a home by, perhaps its most famous owner, the flamboyant Member of Parliament Sir Nicholas Fairbairn Q.C. (1933-95).

The castle has fine gardens and within the grounds is a chapel dedicated to St. Theriot (or St. Therotus). The castle was upgraded and the chapel restored between 1999 and 2007.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow
If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better