Lickleyhead Castle

A modest L-plan tower-house set amongst 12 ha (30 acres) of gardens and woodland in the Garioch district of Central Aberdeenshire, Lickleyhead Castle lies a half-mile (0.8 km) southeast of Auchleven and 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Oyne. Built around 1560 by William Leith, quite possibly on the site of an earlier structure, Lickleyhead began as a simple four-storey rectangular tower, with the lowest floor vaulted. It was bought by Forbes family in 1625 and John Forbes spent the next four years modernising the house and building a stair tower on the southwest corner. It was sold to the Duffs in 1723, who added a new block to the east in the c.1731. Lickleyhead then passed through a succession of owners including the Lumsdens who further extended the 18th century block in 1820 and restored the property in 1876. In 1922 the castle was sold to Don Guillermo de Landa y Escandon, the Governor of Mexico City, for his daughter Maria Luz who had married into the Arbuthnot- Leslie family.

Inside, the former Great Hall has been divided to form a drawing room, with an immense fireplace, and wood-panelled dining room. The castle now has seven bedrooms, with en-suite bathrooms several of which are located in the bartizan turrets. Still the property of the Leslie family, it is open to the public when it is no being let as holiday accommodation.

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