The castle is believed to have been constructed in the late 1300s, during the reign of King Robert II and was one of the biggest structures in Scotland at the time. It is likely that this was not the first fortification established in the location, with records suggesting that, during the 11th century, King Malcolm III, also known as King Malcolm Canmore, meaning ‘Big Head’ or ‘Long Neck’, based a stronghold on the same site, though it was probably far more primitive a structure than Kindrochit Castle.
In the 1300s, the castle occupied an important strategic position as the meeting point of the great passes across the Mounth of the Grampians, crossing Glen Clova east of the Clunie Water and the Spittal of Glenshee on the west.
At the time of King Robert II, Kindrochit Castle was reportedly used as a royal residence, and with the addition of the Drummond Tower, by a license granted by King Robert on 10th November 1390 to his brother-in-law Sir Malcolm Drummond, the castle was listed at the 6th largest in Scotland. The licence gave permission to Malcolm Drummond “to build a tower or fortalice on the lands of Kyndrocht with their pertinents in the Earldom of Mar”.
Today, Kindrochit castle lies in ruins, and has done for hundreds of years. However, no solid evidence of its mysterious demise exists. Legend says that the castle fell into ruin following the onset of the plague. Once news spread that the inhabitants of the castle had been struck down with the sickness, the castle, with its inhabitants still inside, was destroyed by cannon to prevent the disease from spreading. The castle has lain in ruins ever since.
Today, the ruins of Kindrochit are open for all to explore, thanks to a project funded by Aberdeenshire Council in collaboration with the Cairngorms National Park.
Kindrochit Castle, though owned by Aberdeenshire Council, is cared for by an independent voluntary group called Friends of Kindrochit. If you enjoy your visit, Friends of Kindrochit welcome your donations to ensure the site remains open for the enjoyment of all. All donations received are used to provide the Friends with funding to maintain Kindrochit Castle and other community projects.