New Slain’s Castle
Slain’s Castle is a ruined castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, The castle overlooks the North Sea, just 1 kilometre from the east of Cruden Bay. The castle has a fascinating history and has often been associated with inspiration for literature and folklore.
The castle was originally built in the 16th century, Slains Castle has undergone several modifications and expansions over the centuries. It was initially constructed as a tower house, a typical design for Scottish castles of the time. The castle played a role in various historical events, including being a stronghold during conflicts between different clans.
It now requires restoration but has been on hold since 2009, The last time the castle had a significant reconstruction was back in 1837 when it was built by a Scots Baronial mansion, it had three extensive gardens.
One of the notable aspects of Slain’s Castle is its connection to Bram Stoker’s famous novel “Dracula.” It is believed that Stoker visited the castle in 1895, and some speculate that the castle’s eerie and atmospheric setting might have influenced his description of Count Dracula’s castle in the novel. The rugged coastline, the imposing architecture, and the castle’s remote location contribute to its mysterious and gothic aura.
Over the years, the castle fell into disrepair, and today, it stands as a picturesque ruin with its crumbling walls and turrets.
Brief History of Slain’s Castle
Slains Castle was originally built in the late 16th century as a tower house. It was constructed by the 9th Earl of Erroll, Francis Hay. The castle served as a residence for the Hay family, who were powerful nobles in the region.
The castle was expanded and modified in the 17th century by the 10th Earl of Erroll, Gilbert Hay. During this time, additional wings were added to the original tower house, transforming it into a more substantial structure.
In the 18th century, Slains Castle underwent further renovations. It was during this time that the castle’s architecture started to take on a more Gothic style, with pointed windows and turrets, contributing to its unique and dramatic appearance.
Slains Castle gained literary significance in the 19th century due to its association with Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” It is believed that Stoker visited the castle in 1895 while staying in Cruden Bay. The atmospheric and mysterious setting of the castle is thought to have inspired the description of Count Dracula’s castle in the novel.
The castle suffered from neglect and deterioration throughout the 20th century. It gradually fell into disrepair, and its condition worsened over time.
Slains Castle remains in a state of ruin today. Despite its condition, the castle continues to attract visitors who are drawn to its historical significance, connection to literature, and dramatic location on the cliffside overlooking the North Sea.
Keep in mind that while Slains Castle itself is open to the public as a historical site, it’s always a good idea to check for any access restrictions, safety guidelines, or visitor information before planning a visit, as conditions can change over time.
The claim that Slains Castle is haunted by the spirit of Victor Hay, the 21st Earl of Erroll, adds another layer of intrigue to the castle’s history and its reputation as a place with supernatural associations. Victor Hay, who held the title from 1928 to 1971, is said to be the source of these ghostly tales.
Victor Hay was the 21st Earl of Erroll and had connections to Slains Castle. He was known for his flamboyant lifestyle and was a prominent figure in the British aristocracy. He was also linked to various scandals and controversies during his lifetime.
The legend of Victor Hay’s ghost haunting Slains Castle is rooted in the stories and accounts of visitors and locals who claim to have experienced paranormal phenomena at the castle. According to the legend, the ghost of Victor Hay is said to appear as a shadowy figure or a spectral presence within the ruins.
Reports of paranormal activity often involve sightings of a tall, dark figure resembling Victor Hay wandering the castle’s halls and corridors. Some accounts describe the figure walking along the cliff edge or near the castle’s windows. Visitors have also reported unusual cold spots, sudden drops in temperature, unexplained noises, and a general feeling of unease or being watched.
As with many ghost stories, various theories and explanations have been put forward to account for the reported hauntings. Some believe that the turbulent and scandalous life of Victor Hay might have left a psychic imprint on the castle, causing his spirit to linger. Others attribute the haunting to the gothic and eerie atmosphere of the castle itself, which may fuel visitors’ perceptions of paranormal activity.
The ghostly legends associated with Slains Castle have contributed to its reputation as a destination for paranormal enthusiasts and those interested in ghost stories. Tours and events focused on the castle’s supernatural history have been organized, attracting visitors who are curious about the alleged hauntings.
Slains Castle is a prime example of the Gothic Revival architectural style, which was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. This style draws inspiration from medieval Gothic architecture, featuring pointed arches, decorative tracery, and a general sense of verticality.
One of the most striking features of Slains Castle is its numerous towers and turrets. These elements not only contribute to the castle’s imposing appearance but also add to its Gothic ambience. The towers are often crowned with pointed roofs and battlements, creating a silhouette that stands out against the sky.
Pointed arches are a hallmark of Gothic architecture, and they can be seen in the windows, doorways, and other openings throughout Slains Castle. These arches give the castle a sense of verticality and lend an air of elegance to its design.
Crenellations are the distinctive notched parapets often seen along the tops of medieval castles. Slains Castle features crenellated battlements, which not only served as a defensive feature but also contributed to the castle’s imposing aesthetic.
While the castle was once a grand and opulent structure, it has fallen into ruin over the years. The decaying walls, crumbling masonry, and exposed interiors add to the castle’s gothic and romantic charm, making it a favourite subject for artists, photographers, and tourists.
|Originally Built for
|Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll