Located on the banks of the River Spey, a mile from the small Speyside town of Fochabers, itself once part of the burgh of the Dukes of Gordon, the Estate today still covers a sizeable part of the Bellie parish. At its heart stands the original 15th Century Tower, tall and slender, six storeys and eighty four feet high, now lovingly restored to its former glory. To the east of the Tower can be found a two story flanking pavilion and conservatory, finished all round with a rich cornice and faux battlements, the buildings being survivors from the 4th Duke of Gordon’s ambitious 18th Century expansion of the Castle, and themselves beautifully renovated to form part of the 21st Century future of Gordon Castle.
The grounds of the Estate, described by the writer Francis Thompson as “magnificent in an equally magnificent setting”, are formed of ornate gardens set within a hinterland of dense woodland banking onto the River Spey. Entrance is gained through a grand stone archway, with a fine grassy approach leading to twin lodges that also date from the 18th Century.
The eight acre Victorian Walled Garden forms the centrepiece of the grounds; the lovingly restored gardens playing host to an ancient collection of 249 fruit trees and many rare plants, along with an ornamental maze and fully restored Victorian Greenhouse.
Outside of the Walled Garden many fine trees adorn the grounds and the ancient holly trees are of particular interest. These are the same holly trees sited in the Scottish ballad Oh where, Tell me where – by the famous Scottish poet Anne MacVicar Grant. “Where”, the ballad asks, “has your Highland laddie gone?” The answer being that “He dwelt beneath the holly trees, beside the rapid Spey.” The ‘Laddie’ in question was in fact the Castle’s own Marquis of Huntly, Colonel of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, who had actually left to campaign against Napoleon in Holland. This is what is known as ‘poetic licence’!
A Sporting Estate
Under the stewardship of the Gordon Lennox family, Gordon Castle has developed into one of the finest sporting estates in Scotland.
The River Spey is one of the “big four” Scottish salmon rivers and the eight mile Gordon Castle and Brae Water beats assure superb salmon and sea trout fishing amidst a backdrop of peaceful forest glens. For more information on how Gordon Castle can offer you the ideal venue for a fishing holiday in the Scottish Highlands contact us here.
The grounds of Gordon Castle and the surrounding Speyside Valley provide excellent opportunities for deer stalking and grouse shooting. The local habitat is ideal for nurturing strong and healthy roe deer and country sports lovers will enjoy stalking this elusive breed across challenging wooded terrain. We also provide outstanding driven grouse shooting across the Estate and, for those wishing to hone their shooting skills, professional tuition and clay pigeon shooting can be arranged.
In addition to traditional country sports, further exciting activities can be organised on the River Spey, other nearby rivers and the Moray Firth, including white water rafting, kayaking, sailing and dolphin watching.
All sporting activities at Gordon Castle are tailor made to your individual requirements. Ghillie support is available at all times and we provide excellent accommodation all year round. Please contact the Estate Office for further details.
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