Some fine specimens of
architecture are to be found in the mansion houses of Banffshire, and their
richly wooded parks provide scenes of physical beauty not always associated
with the north of Scotland.
Duff House is one of the most
stately edifices in the lower part of the county. It is situated in
beautifully wooded grounds of 165 acres, in which are some lordly specimens
of copper beech, ash, elm, and other trees. Its erection was begun in 1730
by William Duff, Lord Braco and first Earl Fife. It was built after a design
by William Adam, father of the celebrated architects of that name, at a cost
of about L o,000, and is regarded as one of the happiest creations of the
elder Adam. The style is purely Roman. The building has much exquisite
carved work, which when the spectator is near enough is seen to be in a high
degree rich, graceful, and majestic. In 1906 the late Duke of Fife and the
Princess Royal made the magnificent gift of Duff House and 140 acres of the
grounds to the burghs of Banff and Macduff. Since 1913 it has been held on
lease by a company as a private hospital for the treatment of disorders of
In the richly wooded policies
retained in the possession of the Fife family, stands the Gothic mausoleum,
now closed. It was erected by the second Earl in 1790. In the chapel are old
monuments with effigies, and memorial slabs with inscriptions to members of
the Fife family. Outside the building is an arch over an altar with
recumbent figure of a knight in armour, and on a stone beneath the arch is
inscribed "This Mausoleum is erected on the place where stood a chapel
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin by King Robert Bruce, MCCCXXIV. The adjacent
grounds were also devoted by his Royal Charter for the building and support
of a monastery of the holy brethren of Mount Carmel."
Cullen House, the principal
residence of the Seafield family, founded in 1600, stands on a high rock,
around the base of which circles the Burn of Cullen. Its natural situation
is striking and picturesque, and no effort has been spared in enhancing the
natural beauty around. It is a castellated building of the Scottish Baronial
type. The exterior has rich decorations of carving and mottoes, while some
of the windows are magnificently adorned.
A beautiful feature of the
upper valley of the Isla is the Castle of Drummuir erected in the late
forties of last century by Admiral Archibald Duff. It is an elegant and
imposing edifice set in lovely surroundings. The style is Tudor-Gothic; and
its large proportions and compact form, and its castellated and embrasured
roof, with the "banner tower" rising high above, give it the look of massive
Above the centre of the porch
looking to the east and west, there are two armorial shields, with the motto
"Kind heart be true, and you shall never rue."
Forglen House is one of the
most charmingly situated mansions on the lower Deveron. It was founded in
1839 and took the place of a structure erected in 1444. It is a large
castellated edifice, in the Elizabethan style. Over the entrance are placed
the arms of Scotland. Below these, are the arms of the owner at the time
that part of the house was originally erected, the year 1577. Above the
Royal Arms there is written:
Hoip of Revaird cayses gvid
Under the arms of the family
is the inscription
Do veil and dovpt nocht
Althoch thov be spyit;
He is lytil gvid vorth
That is nocht envyit;
Tak thov no tent
Qvht everie man tels;
Gyve thov vald leive ondemit
Gang qvhair na man dvels.
Below this is the line
God gyves and has nocht ye les.
The House of Kininvie is a
fine old structure by the banks of the Fiddich, between Dufftown and
Craigellachie. Not far from Kininvie is the House of Buchromb, which was in
his later years the home of that fine old Indian soldier Sir Peter Stark
Lumsden, of Peijdeh fame.
Arndilly House nestles among
beautifully wooded lawns, on the east side of the Spey, on the slope of Ben
Aigan, which forms an imposing background. Adorned with Grecian colonnade in
front and other touches of architectural taste, it is one of the prettiest
and pleasantest sylvan retreats on the Spey.
Aberlour House is situated in
charming woodlands near the Spey. It is of the Grecian-Doric style of
architecture. It is of two storeys, and square in form, its massiveness
being relieved by two well-proportioned wings. The most imposing feature is
a magnificent porte-cochere that graces the centre of the building and
protects the grand entrance to the mansion, supported on four elegant and
massive fluted columns. There are extensive grounds all around. It is now
the northern home of Sir John R. Findlay, proprietor of the Scotsman.
Ballindalloch Castle stands
on the bank of the Aven, on a beautiful haugh, among wide-spreading trees.
It is considered one of the most perfect specimens extant of the old
Scottish Castle. It bears the date 1546. The motto of the Ballindalloch
family appears over the gateway at the romantic Bridge of Aven, "Touch not
the cat bot a glove." The Castle grounds suffered severely from the deluge
of 1829, when the mansion house itself was flooded on the ground floor to
the depth of several feet. Ballindalloch Castle is the stately home of Sir
George Macpherson Grant, Bart.
Rothiemay House, on the left
bank of the Deveron, is surrounded by a beautiful park with many magnificent
trees. The walls of the older part, eight feet thick, have been little
altered from their original form, and constitute one of the most interesting
series of ancient apartments in the north of Scotland.
The mansion house of Park in
the parish of Ordiquhill is an elegant and handsome building, to which
considerable additions were made in 1829. It is the property of the Duffs of
Drummuir, who represent also the Gordons of Park.
The mansion house of
Glassaugh in the parish of Fordyce occupies a finely wooded site about a
mile from the sea. It is a substantial and handsome square building of three
storeys of Grecian type, with a fine porch at the entrance supported by
This comment system requires
you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an
account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or
Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these
companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All
comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator
has approved your comment.