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Delgatie Castle

Mary Queen of Scots











Delgatie Castle

Photograph Delgatie Castle Scotland

Photographs Of Delgatie Castle

Grand 13th century home of the Clan Hay. Altered in 16th century with fine painted ceilings dating from 1570, and collections of paintings and armour. Mary, Queen of Scots visited in 1562; her portrait hangs in her room. The mighty turnpike stair has 97 steps.

One of the oldest and most historic castles in Scotland, situated about three miles to the east of Turriff, Aberdeenshire, and set amongst the magnificent and unspoiled scenery of the Grampian Highlands.

Dating from approximately 1100, the Castle was taken from the Earl of Buchan by the Hays of Delgatie in 1314 after the Battle of Bannockburn, when Robert the Bruce routed the invading English army. Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Delgatie after the Battle of Corrichie in 1562.

Like most Scottish castles, it was rebuilt in the 16th century when the invention of siege guns demanded greater fortifications.

The 1570 rebuilding provided solid walls 8-14 feet thick, while its final extension with the battlement walk above the string course was completed in 1579.

The original painted ceilings dating from 1592 and 1597 are considered some of the finest in Scotland. Strange animals are depicted - some with human heads thought to represent the inhabitants of the time.

The turnpike stair of 97 treads is reputed to be one of the widest in Scotland measuring over five feet and is unusual for being built within the thickness of the wall.

Both wings were added in 1743 with the chapel and dovecot on the west and the kitchen and servants quarters on the east.

The Castle passed out of the hands of the Hays when it was bought by the Duff family. After being occupied by the army from 1940 - 1946 it was uninhabited for some years.

Captain John Hay, having returned from service in the Indian Army, bought the Castle in 1950 after architects deemed it was too far gone to save, and he embarked on the mammoth task of restoration. Even after forty years of painstaking effort, the refurbishment continues.

Sadly, Captain Hay died in 1997, and the Castle willed to a family trust in order to secure its future.

Delgatie Castle has now become the Centre for the Clan Hay.

There is no evidence to date to suggest that any of the Delgatie families lived in the Castle. In fact, it is somewhat perverse that the most enduring symbol to our surname has, in fact, very little to do with the Delgatie families. The Hays, who originated from the lands of Delgatie in Angus, renamed the castle after the Battle of Bannockburn.

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