The castle’s location
was such that it guarded an important highway of the early and middle
ages. Through this same vale of Rothes came hordes of plundering Danes
who were later to be routed by the Scots at the battle of Mortlach,
Norman barons would settle here after the conquest.
Along this same route
came William 1st “The Hammer of the Scots” and his
male clad knights.
the years rolled on, Church Dignitaries and Brothers of the Abbeys of
Moray (bands of pilgrims on their errands of faith), Crusading
warriors bound for the Holly Land, Scots spearmen for Bannockburn and
Flodden, Covenanters and Jacobites varied the stream of Lairds, peddlers
and beggars, who passed through the valley to and from Moray and
the South country.
Guards posted on the Castle battlements would have commanded a wide
view of the valley stretching out below, this would have afforded the
castle garrison time to prepare for any attack by their enemies.
keep was an outstanding feature of the fortress being several stories
high with a vaulted top. Within the central courtyard stood the servants
quarters, workshops, stables, livestock pens, stores, and armoury, the
lofty wall protecting all within.
portcullis guarded the main entrance to the courtyard; a draw bridge
crossed a dry moat which ran between the walls and the steep hill on
which the castle stood. Remnants of the moat are still traceable today.
was a formidable fortress which as far as my research results show,
never succumbed to attack.
previous stated, precise dating of the building of the castle does not
seem to exist, however it is know that the English King, Edward 1st.
visited and stayed overnight in the castle in the year 1296, the castle
at that time was called “The Manner House of Rothes” his
army was bivouacked in the plain below. Edward had travelled north along
with his army in an attempt to secure the people’s acknowledgement that
he was their overlord. He had also acted as mediator in a dispute
between Robert Bruce and Balliol for the throne of Scotland. It seems
rather strange to me that he was on one hand, trying to gain allegiance
from the people of the north using the threat of his army, and on the
other hand, mediating in the dispute of the two contenders to the
were no fewer than thirteen contenders to the Scottish Throne which
became vacant following the death of the child Queen Mary, Maid of