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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Scotland - Spynie Palace

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near Elgin, Moray, Scotland

Spynie Palace is located near Elgin in Moray. The Palace is also known as Spynie Castle - the name Spynie Palace first appeared around 1524. The most distinctive feature of the ruin is David's Tower - the largest tower by volume of all medieval Scottish towers. It is six storeys tall with a vaulted basement and garret. The basement contains a circular dungeon. The ground floor contained the hall with a spiral staircase which led to the upper floors. Spynie Palace is now in the care of Historic Scotland and is open to the public.

The original main castle was built in the 14th century as a square structure built within a 7 meter high curtain wall. By 1500, a large new great hall and chamber had been built along the north side of the courtyard, and rectangular towers added to two of the corners. The castle was extended in the late 15th century and early 16th century with the addition of the massive David's Tower along with other accommodation.

Bishop John Guthrie, who was a well known royalist, refused to subscribe to the Covenant. Spynie was besieged by the Covenanters in 1640, led by Col. Sir Robert Monro and his 800 men. Bishop Guthrie surrendered the castle and the castle was disarmed. Guthrie was allowed to stay within the castle under house arrest. In September of 1640, Gutherie was imprisoned in Aberdeen. The castle was then granted to the Earl of Moray by King Charles I. The Marquis of Huntly laid siege to the castle in late 1645 leaving Lord Lewis Gordon in charge but the castle held out. Following the restoration of church government to the Scottish Church in 1662 ownership of the castle passed back to the church, but by then it was starting to fall into disrepair. The palace passed into the hands of the Crown and much of the fine iron work and wood carvings were removed. The building decayed as locals removed stones for building works until the early 19th century when the Crown stepped in to protect the ruins.

Other Castles in the Area
  Balvenie Castle, Moray
  Blervie Castle, Moray
  Burgie Castle, Moray
  Duffus Castle, Moray

Duffus Castle
David's tower

Photograph by Bill Reid. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Duffus Castle
The early living quarters

Photograph by Bill Reid. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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