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Clan Seats of Scotland – Clan Henderson – Fordell Castle – Scotcrest Blog

Fordell Castle, Fife – Clan Henderson

Fordell Castle Clan Henderson

Located to the east of the historic town of Dunfermline, Fordell Castle is one of Fife’s best-preserved family homes and the traditional seat of the Scottish Clan Henderson.

Originally built in the 16th century, the interior of the castle was substantially renovated in the 1960s and is now used as a modern family home with access restricted to the general public. The castle does, however, has a substantial history and has played host to some of Scotland most famous figures.

The land on which the castle is situated was originally given to Richard, son of Hugh de Camera, in 1217 and would eventually fall under the control of James Henryson, burgess of Edinburgh, at the beginning of the 16th century. It is from here that the burgess would gain control of the castle, parts of which are believed to have been constructed as far back as the 1400s, and the family would soon begin to extend the building in 1566.

After suffering a fire only two years later, the castle would then play host to its most famous guest, Mary, Queen of Scots. and a chapel would later be built within the grounds in 1650 before being damaged after an attack by Oliver Cromwell only a week later.

The Henderson family would then be made baronets by Charles II and thereafter, they continued to enjoy their status without becoming involved in any major events until the 19th century. It is then that the Hendersons would build a new mansion – Fordell House. The construction of this new mansion would lead to the abandonment of the castle for much of the 1800s and it is not until the mid 20th century that it would once again become a home rather than a ruin.

The restoration of the castle would be triggered by the purchase of the building by author James Henderson CBE who, despite not being a direct relation to the original Henderson family, wanted to restore it to its former glory. Since then, the property has had many wealthy owners and was last sold to Stuart Simpson, the 17th Baron of Forell, in 2007 for £3,850,000. It remains a private residence and is a category A listed building.

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