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Old Slains Castle
Old Slains Castle - - 3662.jpg
The remains of Old Slains Castle
OS grid reference NK052300
Built 13th-century
Built for Comyn, Earl of Buchan
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Old Slains Castle (otherwise known as Old Castle Slains) is a ruined castle near Collieston in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.


The 13th-century castle was originally the property of the Comyn, Earl of Buchan. After the forfeiture of the Comyns in the 14th century it was given to Sir Gilbert Hay by Robert the Bruce in recognition for his support against the English.

Slaines was taken by James VI on 30 May 1589 and a royal garrison put in. It was said in January 1593 that Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll welcomed so many English and Scottish Catholics in a tower at Slaines that he was put to great expense. In 1594 the Earl led a rebellion which was put down by James VI. The castle was destroyed with gunpowder and cannon on 1 November. Aberdeen town council sent the stonemason John Fraser and other workmen to the demolition work at Huntly Castle and Slains, equipped with new shovels. Next year, Elizabeth Douglas, Countess of Erroll, a friend of Anne of Denmark, hired masons to repair the building.

After returning from exile, Hay built a New Slains Castle on the site of the former Bowness Castle near Cruden Bay.


Originally a strongly built 5-storey oblong keep (of which a small part remains), a wall defending the landward side was added in the early 16th century.

Modern day

One wall of the castle remains standing, at approximately 25 metres (82 ft) in height. In the 1950s, a 3-storey house was built within the ruins, adjoining a fishing cottage built in the 18th century. Since 1991 several archaeological excavations have been effected, the last one in 2007. The remains of the old castle are designated a scheduled ancient monument.

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