Fetteresso Castle, Stonehaven – Clan Keith
Originally held by Clan Strachan, Fetteresso Castle would pass under the control of Clan Keith during the 14th century.
Although the Castle would eventually become the home of two of the northeast’s greatest clans, its history would go back much further, as it is thought to have been used as a prehistoric settlement. While it is unknown exactly how old the settlement actually is (or exactly what it was used for) it has been speculated that it could have been used as an athletics venue or a site connected to the Romans.
Whatever the use of the original site, it is known that the property would eventually come under the control of the Strachan clan until it was taken from them in the early 14th century by Robert the Bruce. This loss of the castle would occur after the clan fought on the side of Bruce’s great rival, John Comyn, as it was eventually given to the Frasers. The property would then be sold to its most famous owners, the Keiths, and the family would use the stronghold as their seat, extending it by adding a tower house as they incorporated the castle into their barony, along with the nearby fortress, Dunnottar Castle.
While the Keith family were all-powerful in northeastern Scotland, the castle would be inhabited by other families in the subsequent years, as Jean Hunter lived there in 1659. Sadly for Jean, she would be accused of witchcraft and hanged at the castle, a sad and undeserved end to her life.
After this gruesome act, the castle would pass between a number of different owners until it fell under the control of the Duffs – who would expand the structure, adding a building around the tower house. Eventually, the castle would fall into disrepair during the 20th century and it would spend years without a roof after its final owners, the Simpsons, moved out. It would eventually be restored towards the end of the 20th century by a local landowner and was slowly rebuilt. It is currently without an owner and was on the market as recently as 2020 for a sum of £475,000, making it one of the cheapest castles in Scotland to purchase.