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Corgaff Castle

Corgaff Castle Aberdeenshire Scotland

It was built in the 16th Century, around 1537, as a hunting seat by Thomas Erskine, Earl of Mar. Since 1435 both the lands and dignity belonging to the Earldom had been annexed by the Crown, but in 1507 the forest of Corgaff (with other Mar lands) was granted to Alexander, later first Lord Liphinstone, by James IV. The second Lord Elphinstone ceded the lands of Corgaff to his eldest son Robert on his marriage and they then passed into the hands of the Forbeses as vassals of the Elphinstones.
In 1571, during a feud between the Forbeses and Gordons, Adam Gordon of Auchindoun set fire to the castle, burning alive Margaret Campbell. wife of the Forbes laird, with her family and servants. The Erskine Earls of Mar recovered the lands some years later and restored the keep, but in 1689 the castle was burnt down again by Jacobites. It was held by them in 1745 as an arms store, until in 1746 Lord Ancrum took it from them with an army of 400 men. In the meantime in 1716 Lord Mar forfeited the lands, which then passed back to the Forbes. Around 1748 Corgaff Castle was bought by the Government as a base for Hanoverian troops who were employed in disarming the Highlands and establishing order in this wild district.

Originally the castle was built as a tower-house, with two vaulted cellars in the basement, a lofty vaulted hall on the first floor with adjoining kitchen and a upper storey and garret. After the fires in 1571 and 1689 most of the castle still stood intact except for the roof and upper wooden floors.  In 1748 the nucleus of the castle, the tower, was remodelled as a fortified post for the Hanoverian troops. At this stage wings, known as "pavilions", were added to each gable wall, plus a star-shaped loop-holed curtain wall similar to the one at
Braemar Castle.

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