New Slains Castle at Cruden Bay

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New Slains Castle is one of our favorite local places to explore. And don’t let the name fool you, it’s anything but “New”- it just happens to be newer than Old Slains Castle. We absolutely love exploring all over Scotland- but there is so much history right near where we live- and this is one of the many great spots.

A bit of history:

  • The lands of Slains were possessed by Clan Hay since the 14th century.
  • In 1453 King James II made the clan chief the Earl of Erroll, based out of Old Slains Castle which was located right on the Bay in the city of Aberdeen.
  • The 9th Earl converted to Roman Catholicism and was involved in a conspiracy with other Catholic nobility… King James VI declared him a traitor and had Old Slains destroyed in 1594.
  • Later he came back, renounced his Catholicism, and built on to the existing 16th century tower at Cruden Bay – thus, New Slains Castle.
  • In the 1830’s, a local architect was commissioned to remodel the Castle in Scots Baronial style.

(Slains Castle is not operated by Historic Scotland, so there are no historical plaques or tour guides on site. Thanks for all that info, google!)

Click on photos to enlarge…

Some other random facts:

  • In 1895, the author of Dracula (Bram Stoker) stayed near Cruden Bay (possibly at Slains Castle) – and it is frequently cited that Slains Castle was the inspiration for Dracula. (read that on Wikipedia)
  • In 1913, the 20th Earl of Erroll sold the family castle. Only 12 years later, the roof was removed to avoid taxes and not much has happened since.
  • There are plans to potentially make it into a holiday spot (hotel, resort?)… but those plans have been put on hold for many years.
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