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Slains Castle


(New Slains Castle)

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Slains Castle, the seat of the Earl of Erroll, in Cruden parish, Aberdeenshire, on the brink of a lofty sea-cliff, 1½ mile SSW of the Bullers of Buchan, 5 miles NNE of Old Slains Castle, and 7 SSW of Peterhead. Built in 1664, and much extended at several periods, it was, with exception of the lower part of its original tower and of two other small portions, rebuilt in 1836-37; and now is a stately and commodious edifice. Dr Johnson, who was here in 1773, described it as ` built upon the margin of the sea so that the walls of one of the towers seem only a continuation of a perpendicular rock, the foot of which is beaten by the waves. To walk round the house seemed (and is) impracticable. From the windows the eye wanders over the sea that separates Scotland from Norway, and, when the winds beat with violence, must enjoy all the terrific grandeur of the tempestuous ocean. I would not, for my amusement, wish for a storm; but as storms, whether wished for or not, will happen, I may say, without violation of humanity, that I should willingly look out upon them from Slains Castle ' William Harry Hay, twenty-second Hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland since 1315, and eighteenth Earl of Erroll since 1452 (b. 1823; suc. 1846), holds 4249 acres in the shire, valued at £4268 per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 87, 1876. See Luncarty, Errol, and Slains.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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