Tuesday, 17 January 2012

SANDEND AND FINDLATER CASTLE

The traditional fishing village of Sandend was established before the early 1600s, meaning it predates many of the other fishing communities around this area. It has one of Scotland' smallest harbours, backed by short streets consisting of tightly knit houses running at right-angles to the sea. Sandend Bay has a fine sandy beach perfect for walking the dog. Overlooking the bay to the east of the village is the Glenglassaugh Distillery, founded in 1875. The distillery was revived in 2008 after being mothballed in 1986, and is known for its single malt whisky. Visitors are welcome, although there is no visitor centre as yet, and they can purchase award-winning aged whiskies as well as younger drinks.

West of Sandend is the ruined Findlater Castle, which clings precariously to an outcrop of rock, so weathered that it almost looks like a natural extension of the cliff top. There have been fortifications here since at least the 13th century, although the original structure was lost during an attack by the Danes, and what you see now probably dates from the 14th century, when it was owned by the Sinclairs. The castle was passed to the Ogilvies in the 15th century, one of whose offspring, James Ogilvie, a Steward to Mary Queen of Scots, was disinherited and the castle passed to Sir John Gordon. However, James was having none of this and set out to regain the land from the new incumbent. Mary Queen of Scots sent troops to seize the castle, and to cut a long story short, a series of battles ensued culminating in Gordon's beheading, upon which the castle was returned to the Ogilvies, but not for long because they moved to Cullen around 1600.

Map of the area.

'Findlater Castle, taken from the coastal walk' photo (c) 2008, Craig Simpson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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