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Kildrummy Castle


The house, renamed ‘Kildrummy Castle Hotel’ opened for business in 1956, and is now one of Aberdeenshire’s foremost hotels, offering 16 beautifully appointed, individually-styled rooms, all with en-suite bath and/or showers.

Unlike many hotels it has not been extended so all the rooms are in the original house. The décor is in the style of a traditional Scottish hunting lodge complete with original oak wood panelling, chandeliers, wall tapestries and old paintings. There is a beautiful carved oak staircase which splits into two and has carved wooden lions at the bottom. In winter a roaring log fire in the main hall creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Kildrummy is located in a wonderful area of Scotland, perfect for exploring some of the most scenic parts of the Highlands. 

Guests are invited to sample a "wee dram" in the bar, enjoy a quiet read in the Library (with everything from 100 year-old "Punch" magazines to modern thrillers), or just sit back and relax in the bright and airy Drawing Room and gaze out at the ruins of the original 13th-Century castle. Kildrummy Castle ruins are some of the most important and impressive in the country.


In 1731, ownership of the original Kildrummy Castle had passed to the Gordon family of nearby Wardhouse.  The old castle fell into disrepair and was used as a source of handy building material by local residents. The “Spanish” Gordons built a house within sight of the old castle, and this became known as the Gordon’s Lodge.  The Gordon-Spanish connection was forged in the 18th Century by John David Gordon who settled at Jerez and with his great-uncle began to make a name in the sherry industry when a company was formed in 1784 at Jerez de la Frontera. Today this sherry link remains in the González Byass company. Another branch of the Gordon family created Gordon’s Gin.  

In 1898 Colonel James Ogston purchased Kildrummy Estate from Rafael Gordon Aristegui (10th Laird of Wardhouse and Kildrummy, Conde de Mirasol). Rafael had to sell Kildrummy in order to clear the family of death duties, and also offered at auction the family silver and the Jacobite Relics which had been in the family's possession since 1745.

James Ogston had made his fortune producing soap at his factory in Aberdeen, thus earning his nickname of “Soapy” Ogston. The existing house did not suit the Colonel, so he had it removed stone by stone and rebuilt on a neighbouring estate. He commissioned plans for a new house from the noted architect Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, who also designed Crathie Kirk on Deeside for the Royal family, as well as Australia House and the Waldorf Hotel in London. Colonel Ogston’s  “new” castle was completed in 1900, and lived in as a private house until 1954. Shortly thereafter, the house and estate were bought by Mr/Mrs J P Smith of Yorkshire, who converted the house to hotel use.

The house, renamed ‘Kildrummy Castle Hotel’ opened for business in 1956, and is now one of Aberdeenshire’s foremost hotels, offering 16 beautifully appointed, individually-styled rooms, all with en-suite bath and/or shower, bathrobes, tea/coffee making facilities, television (Freeview), trouser-press and direct dial telephone.   

Kildrummy Park Castle Hotel is rated as luxury 4 star. 

Breakfast is included:

Choice of egg, bacon, sausage, haggis, mushrooms, beans, tomato, hash brown
(or any combination of above)

Choice of egg, vegetarian sausage, mushrooms, beans, tomato, hash brown 
(or any combination of above)

Smoked herring, served with roast tomato and hash browns

Served on wholemeal toast

Select from: Cheese, ham, onion, mushroom

Parma ham, home cooked ham, cheese, served with homemade bread


The name of the parish of Kildrummy comes from the Scottish Gaelic “ceann druimin” meaning "head of the little ridge". The spelling “Kyndrummy” appears in documents dated 1275, then variously through the 14th and 15th Centuries as “Kildromy”, “Kyndromyn”, “Kyndrymmie”, “Kyndrummy”, “Kindromy” and “Kyndrome”. In 1567 it appears as “Kildrummie”, and the current spelling appears shortly thereafter. However, the spelling “Kildrummie” was still widely used until the mid-19th Century.


Believed to have been built in around 1245, during the reign of King Alexander II of Scotland, Kildrummy Castle is one of very few great Scottish stone castles to survive from the 13th Century. It was the family seat of the ‘Mormaer’ or Earl of Mar, who was the ruler of the province of Mar (roughly the area now known as Aberdeenshire). The Earldom of Mar is thought to be the oldest peerage in Great Britain, and possibly even Europe, dating back to at least the early 12th Century and mentioned in the ‘Book of Deer’ in 1135.

Control of Kildrummy Castle switched many times from Scottish to English during the first Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1328). In 1306 the castle was besieged by Prince Edward of Caernarfon (later to become King Edward II of England). The castle was stoutly defended by Sir Nigel Bruce, brother of King Robert the Bruce. The castle eventually fell due to the treachery of the blacksmith, Osbourne, who had been bribed by the English to start a fire in return for as much gold as he could carry.  Unfortunately for him, after the English seized the castle his reward was poured down his throat in liquid form! Nigel Bruce was captured and executed. King Robert the Bruce was later to get his revenge by defeating Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Kildrummy was again under siege in 1335, burnt in 1530 and taken by Oliver Cromwell in 1654 during the Civil War. In 1715 it became the headquarters of the first Jacobite Rising (plotted by John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar). Following the failure of the ’15 Rising, John Erskine fled from Scotland in February 1716 along with James Stuart (the "The Old Pretender" and father of Bonnie Prince Charlie), at which time the castle was abandoned and partly dismantled.