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 🙂
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.
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