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Encyclopedia > Duffus Castle

Duffus Castle


Location Duffus, Nr Elgin, Moray, Scotland
57°40′48″N, 03°17′24″W
Established c.1140
Last occupied 1705
Construction First castle: wood - Motte-and-bailey
Second castle: stone - keep with curtain wall
Built by Freskyn, of Strabrock and Duffus
Owner Historic Scotland
Entry Fee No

Duffus Castle, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, was a motte-and-bailey castle and served as a fortress-residence from c.1140 to 1705 . During that time it had undergone many changes. The most fundamental was the destruction of the original wooden structure and replacing it with one of stone and lime. When first built it was among the most secure fortifications in Scotland. By the time it was abandoned, at the death of the 2nd Lord Duffus in 1705, the castle was becoming totally unsuitable as a dwelling.[1] Elgin is a town in Moray the North of Scotland. ... Moray (Moireibh in Gaelic), one of the 32 unitary council regions (or areas) of Scotland, lies in the north-east of the country and borders on the regions of Aberdeenshire and Highland. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen of the UK Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by... A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle. ... Historic Scotland is the Scottish agency looking after historic monuments. ... Elgin is a city in north-east Scotland, 35 miles east of Inverness and 70 miles west of Aberdeen. ... Moray (Moireibh in Gaelic), one of the 32 unitary council regions (or areas) of Scotland, lies in the north-east of the country and borders on the regions of Aberdeenshire and Highland. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen of the UK Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by... A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle. ... A castle (from the Latin castellum) is a structure that is fortified for defence against an enemy and generally serves as a military headquarters dominating the surrounding countryside[1]. The term is most often applied to a small self-contained fortress, usually of the Middle Ages. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen of the UK Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by...

Contents

The wooden castle

The ancient province of Moray was a major region of the Pictish confederation. At the beginning of the 12th century the province was ruled by the mormaer, Angus, grandson of Lulach Macgillecomgan, who had succeeded the murdered Macbeth as King of Scots in 1057. Ferociously independent and deeply distrustful of the expansion of the national monarchy, Angus rose up in revolt in 1130. The rising was firmly put down by King David I, and the mormaer deposed. King David immediately began to populate the province with nobles and people of his own choosing. A replica of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. ... Lulach I of Scotland (c. ... Scene from Macbeth, depicting the witches conjuring of an apparition in Act IV, Scene I. Painting by William Rimmer This article is on Shakespeares play, for other meanings see Macbeth (disambiguation). ... King David I (or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim), known as the Saint (1084 – May 24, 1153), was king of Scotland from 1124 until his death, and the youngest son of Malcolm Canmore and of Saint Margaret (sister of Edgar Ætheling). ...


Freskin

Model of mott-and-bailey castle
Model of mott-and-bailey castle

One significant newcomer was Freskin who already owned an extensive estate in Lothian (Strabrock, now Uphall). He accepted lands at Duffus from King David.[2] Freskyn’s background is uncertain. The historical consensus amongst historians is that he was of Flemish background, the principle argument being that "Freskin" is a Flemish name.[3] Undoubtedly, King David, himself a Normanized magnate with extensive estates in northern England, granted lands to many nobles from Flanders as well as other Normans. The alternatives are that he may have been an Anglo-Saxon or a Scot who fought for King David and his general Edward in Moray. At that time, Flemish nobles were referred to in writs as "Flandrensis".[4] Freskyn appears in no contemporary sources, and was never referred to by his national origin. His son, William, adopted the title 'de Moravia' ('of Moray'), and by 1200 Freskyn's descendants had become the most dominant family in northern Scotland.[5] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1023x698, 198 KB) Museum of Bayeux, model of castle / Personal Picture taken bu user Urban, February 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: Nottingham Castle Motte-and-bailey Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1023x698, 198 KB) Museum of Bayeux, model of castle / Personal Picture taken bu user Urban, February 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: Nottingham Castle Motte-and-bailey Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the... Lothian (Lowden in Scots, Lodainn in Gaelic) forms a traditional region of Scotland, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. ... Norman may refer to: the Normans, the Norman people. ... Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) has several main meanings: the social, cultural and linguistical, scientific and educational, economical and political community of the Flemings; some prefer to call this the Flemish community (others refer to this as the Flemish nation) which is, with over 6 million inhabitants, the majority of all Belgians... The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, whose language is of the Gaelic (Goidelic) family, a division of Insular Celtic languages. ...


It was Freskin who built the great earthwork and timber motte-and-bailey castle in c.1140. The motte was an immense man-made mound with steeply sloping sides and a wide and deep ditch that surrounded the base. Timber buildings would have stood on its flat top and would have been further protected by a wooden palisade placed around the edge of the summit. The motte was reached from the bailey, a broad expanse of ground raised above the surrounding land though not as high as the motte, either by a bridge carried over the ditch or by steps climbing the mound. Here were the ancillary halls, lodgings and service offices, such as the brewhouse, bakehouse, stables, workshops, and perhaps a chapel, all necessary to maintain the household. None of these structures has survived.


The stone castle

Freskin’s direct line ended in 1270 and the castle passed into the ownership of Sir Reginald Cheyne, the younger. In around 1350 the last Cheyne, Lord of Duffus died leaving the estate to an heiress who married Nicholas, second son of the 4th Earl of Sutherland. The Sutherlands, themselves were descended from Freskyn and remained in possession until 1705 [5] when the castle was abandoned.

Plan of castle
Enlarge
Plan of castle

In 1305, it was recorded that Reginald Cheyne was granted 200 oaks from the royal forests of Darnaway and Longmorn 'to build his manor of Dufhous' [6] and indicated that a major rebuilding programme was underway. The wood would have been needed for flooring, roofing and for other parts of the rising stone castle. It is known that the original castle was burned down by Robert the Bruce in 1297 because it held a garrison of King Edward I’s English troops and this had been the impetus for building a more secure castle of stone. Robert I, King of Scots, usually known as Robert the Bruce (July 11, 1274 – June 7, 1329, reigned 1306 – 1329), was, according to a modern biographer (Geoffrey Barrow), a great hero who lived in a minor country. ... Edward I; illustration from Cassells History of England circa 1902. ...


A two-storey rectangular tower was built on the motte and was the main residence. The first floor held the lord’s hall, with a latrine and bed chambers. The ground floor was the main storage space and also accommodated the lord’s household. The tower was built as a defensive structure with a small number of narrow windows. There was only the one entrance on the ground floor which also housed a portcullis. On the second floor, two doors exited onto the walkway of the curtain wall. This wall completely enclosed the bailey. The put-log holes built into the curtain wall indicate the presence of a number of buildings. On the north side a later building was erected that housed a kitchen, a great hall with reception room and the great chamber bedroom. It is possible that this building was constructed by the Sutherlands. It is not known when the serious subsidence took place but evidence of repairs to the tower are evident before it slid down the motte. The tower shows no further repairs and may have collapsed early on but the newer hall became the main residence. This building shows continued alterations over time. In 1689, Claverhouse was a guest of Lord Duffus just before the battle of Killiekrankie and would be one of the last important visitors before the castle’s abandonment. [7] The Viscount Dundee John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee (c. ...


Footnotes

  1. ^ MacGibbon, D & Ross, T 1887 The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, vol 1. Edinburgh ISBN 0901824186
  2. ^ Barrow, GWS 1973 The Kingdom of the Scots. Edinburgh. ISBN 0-7486-1803-1
  3. ^ See G.W.S. Barrow, "The Beginnings of Military Feudalism" in Barrow (ed.) The Kingdom of the Scots, 2nd Ed. (2003), p. 252, n. 16.
  4. ^ Gray, James 1922 Sutherland and Caithness in Saga-Time or, the Jarls and the Freskyns. Edinburgh
  5. ^ a b Balfour Paul, J 1906 & 1911 The Scots Peerage. Edinburgh
  6. ^ Bain, J (ed) 1888 Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Vol IV. Edinburgh.
  7. ^ Shaw, L & Gordon, J 1882 The History of the Province of Moray, vol 2. Edinburgh

Geoffrey W.S. Barrow is a Scottish historian and academic. ...

External links

  • Duffus Castle - site information from Historic Scotland

 
 

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