Findlater Castle: Necessary Risks and a Ghost!

Findlater Castle on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

For years I passed by the road signs for Findlater Castle on my way to other places, joking that ‘I must find that later’. I’m so glad I finally did! I’ve been a few times now and it’s always stunning.

On this day, in 2018, it was exceptionally warm and still for Northern Scotland which emboldened me to go a bit further down onto the ramparts than I’ve been before.

Off I went, past the gorse which was warmed by the sun and smelled all coconutty…

Findlater Castle and gorse on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

This is as far as I normally dare, just to this first chunk of wall…

A chunk of Findlater Castle on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

And then up the wee path for a peek at the shore beyond.

View of the sea from Findlater Castle in Scotland. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

But with no gusts of wind to blast me off the edge, on I marched (or tentatively crept, as is more accurate).

The side of Findlater Castle on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

Look at those craggy walls!

The old crumbling windows of Findlater Castle. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

The Findlater Castle Ghost

I sat down here and contemplated being really brave and jumping down that hole under the archway. Ah, what photos I would get, what views, what atmosphere… then I remembered the ghost story. A small boy and his nurse were standing near an open window, maybe even one of those in view, when he jumped from her arms and disappeared down the side of the cliff, presumably to his death. She scrambled after him, also to her doom, and her spirit still haunts the castle searching for her errant charge.

I didn’t really want to join her.

So, sorry to disappoint, but after another look over the edge I retraced my steps back up the hill.

Peering over the edge at Findlater Castle on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

This meant I survived to visit the nearby Doocot (pigeon house). It dates from the 15th century as does the castle.

Doocot (dove house) in Aberdeenshire. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

I love its door:

Door to the doocot. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

And all the little nesting boxes within:

Window of the doocot. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

Risks!

If you visit Findlater do be careful not to fall to your doom. If it’s muddy or windy it would be much more dangerous than it was for me on this occasion. Look, the council have even written it in great big red letters underneath the history:

Informational board about Findlater Castle on the cliffs. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

Necessary risks only then 🙂

My Books

Scottish Historical Fiction from Ailish Sinclair

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story. Her second book, FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Aberdeenshire.

door at Craigievar Castle
Craigievar

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42 Replies to “Findlater Castle: Necessary Risks and a Ghost!”

  1. Good you visited — not like me. I always said I’d visit New Zealand when I retired because it was close, but I didn’t get to visit until I lived really far away.

  2. Beautiful photography and commentary. I’ve always been attracted to our ancestry and the historical times in which they lived. I think your caution was justified. While I do like to see the ruins of Europe and the Islands and imagine how it was when inhabited, you never know what time has done to those dark places.

  3. How beautiful. I love olde things and imagining those who built them and inhabited them. I love to feel the ghosts of abandoned buildings. Lovely photos and post.
    Thank you for following me 🙂

  4. I wonder how many stonemasons fell to their doom building the castle?

    The gorse is gorgeous! On Vancouver Island, where I am from, we call it “broom” and it is an invasive species. Its a constant battle trying to keep it under control but to me, who grew up there but( haven’t lived there in decades) it says spring and home.

  5. Very beautiful locations 🙂 I wish I could visit Scotland at least once 😀
    Thanks for sharing these awesome pictures. Keep sharing more ! 🙂

      1. Ah yes, that’s why I’ve never ventured further. The first time I was with my 72 year old mum in law. The second time, I was on my own, and no-one knew where I was. One day I’ll go back with able-bodied companion.

  6. So wonderful to follow you! My forebears were in Aberdeenshire, and Mondobbo House and Craigievar Castle were significant to my family’s line. I hope to see them both in person. Until then, it’s SO great to see your posts! You give me a great sense of the area!

  7. So beautiful! & Please, disappoint us – you can’t blog or write books from beyond the grave! (…that I know of, I guess… Best not to take the chance, at least.)

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