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 Castles of Scotland - Corgarff Castle

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Corgarff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Corgarff Castle is situated 20 miles north of Braemar, near the Cockbridge to Tomintoul Road - this is one of the first roads in Scotland to be blocked by snow in winter. Corgarff Castle has been of strategic importance, guarding the quickest route from Deeside to Speyside and the Moray Firth.

Corgarff Castle was built by the Forbes family around 1550 as a tower house with a walled enclosure. The Forbes family were supporters of side who wanted James VI as king of Scotland. They became involved in a feud with the Gordon family from Auchindoun who were supporters of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1571 the Gordons tried to capture Corgarff and ended up burning it down killing everyone inside the castle except for the lady of the house, Margaret Forbes.

Corgarff was used as a mustering point by the Royalist forces in Scotland during the Civil War. In 1689 Corgarff was burned down again by the Jacobites to prevent it being used as a base by supporters of William of Orange. In 1715, John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar launched the Jacobite rising from Kildrummy Castle, further down Strathdon. He then came to Corgarff to assemble and equip his army. After the eventual defeat of the 1715 Jacobite rising, Government forces burned down Corgarff yet again. The government gave the castle back to the Forbes family. During the final Jacobite uprising in 1745, the Jacobite forces used Corgarff Castle as an arms store. In early 1746 the Jacobites were forced to flee when hundreds of Government foot soldiers arrived unexpectedly. The fleeing Jacobites left large quantities of gunpowder and muskets behind. A few weeks later the Jacobite forces were defeated at the Battle of Culloden, although the loss of the Corgarff weapons was not a big factor in the defeat. After the 1745 rebellion was quashed, the government stationed troops across the country to prevent further uprisings. In 1748 Corgarff Castle was converted into barracks, and during this period the current star shaped encircling wall was built.

From 1802 the Castle was used as a farmhouse. The castle went into decline and its last residents left during the First World War. The State took over the running of Corgarff Castle in 1961 and it has been recently restored by Historic Scotland.

Other Castles in the Area
  Abergeldie Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Ballindalloch Castle, Moray
  Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Braemar Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Drumin Castle, Moray
  Glenbuchat Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Invercauld House, Aberdeenshire
  Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Kindrochit Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Knock Castle, Aberdeenshire

Knock Castle
Corgarff Castle has recently been given a makeover. Note the star shaped encircling wall built after the '45 rebellion.

Photograph by Victor Cammack. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Knock Castle
Corgarff Castle

Photograph by Phil Smith. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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