Castle of Hallforest

(Hallforest Castle)

A ruined rectangular tower-house in E Aberdeenshire, the Castle of Hallforest is located in a field a mile (1.5 km) southwest of Kintore. Thought to have been built around 1361 as a hunting lodge within the Royal Forest of Kintore on land granted to the Keith, Earls Marischal of Scotland, by Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329), it later passed to the Earls of Kintore. Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), is said to have visited in 1562 and the tower was most-likely abandoned around 1665.

It is interesting as an unusual convergence of Mediaeval military and domestic design. Now a scheduled ancient monument, it is one of few 14th-C. keeps remaining in NE Scotland. It once rose to six storeys but still reaches 18.3m (60 feet) in height, except for the northeast corner which has collapsed. Inside grand barrel-vaulted spaces forming the first two levels were probably once divided in two vertically by wooden floors. The structure measures 14.6m (48 feet) by 9.1m (30 feet), with walls up 2.1m (7 feet). Hallforest Castle appears on an engraving of 1840 by Aberdeen-based artist James Giles (1801-70).

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