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…
This is as far as I normally dare, just to this first chunk of wall…
And then up the wee path for a peek at the shore beyond.
But with no gusts of wind to blast me off the edge, on I marched (or tentatively crept, as is more accurate).
Look at those craggy walls!
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.
This meant I survived to visit the nearby Doocot (pigeon house). It dates from the 15th century as does the castle.
I love its door:
And all the little nesting boxes within:
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:
Necessary risks only then 🙂
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Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!
See the press release here
“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.
See the press release here
From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!
See the publisher’s Press Release here
Review from the Historical Novel Society
42 Replies to “Findlater Castle: Necessary Risks and a Ghost!”
So beautiful. I’m afraid of heights so I definitely would have backed away from that ghostly precipice.
It was quite scary up there!
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.
It’s easy to miss places on your doorstep, isn’t it?
I love the pigeon house – it looks like a tiny Roman catacomb. And I think we can all thank you for not plummeting to your death.
Nice post and beautiful photos!
Nice photography. Well done.
It looks a beautiful area. 🙂 Glad you’re well again and many thanks for the follow.
It is a lovely place and thank you 🙂
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.
Yes, these old places are alluring and fascinating but do need to be approached with care!
I think a careful approach is the best way to ensure your fantastic photography continues.
It is a beautiful place 🙂
Beautiful pictures. As someone whose Welsh, definitely a place I would love to visit.
It is rugged and beautiful, well worth visiting.
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 🙂
Olde things are wonderful, aren’t they? So many stories.
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.
I had the same thought about the building of the castle! So dangerous.
Very beautiful locations 🙂 I wish I could visit Scotland at least once 😀
Thanks for sharing these awesome pictures. Keep sharing more ! 🙂
I will, and I hope you get the chance to visit.
I’ve been to Findlater Castle twice, but never venturdv this far. One day … Meantime, thank you for the photos.
Do be careful if you venture up that slope to the castle!
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.
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!
How wonderful! Craigievar features in this post: https://ailishsinclair.com/2021/06/here-we-go-a-castle-ing/
I just saw the post to which you refer! Loved it. And in revisiting my comment above, I see I misspelled Monboddo 🙂 It’s this house, and have you ever seen it?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monboddo_House
I’ve never visited it. It looks beautiful 🙂
“Necessary risks only.” I think this will be my new mantra.
It’s a good one!
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.)
Stunning photos and great story. I just love ruins. I’d like to visit it one day.
I hope you get the chance.
It is a magnificent place.
Spectacular views for sure!
It’s gorgeous! I wouldn’t want to go through the hole under the archway either though
Best not to 🙂