Ruined Castles - North East Scotland

Duffus Castle, Moray

A collapsing keep on a motte and bailey castle

Duffus Castle is one of the finest examples of a C12th motte and bailey castle in Scotland with a C14th stone keep and curtain wall. It stands as a landmark in the surrounding flat and very fertile farmland.

Duffus Castle

Unfortunately the motte was never intended to take the weight of a stone structure and part of the north west wall collapsed down the slope.

Duffus Castle

The castle was eventually abandoned in the early 18thC in favour of the newly built Duffus house. 

The castle was originally on the shores of Loch Spynie and surrounded by water and marshy ground. The area has been drained but the ditch around the outer bailey is still wet and marshy with duckweed and horsetails.

Duffus Castle

A small, single arch stone bridge was the main route into the castle.

Duffus Castle

There are the foundations of a guard tower to the side of it. A cobbled roadway leads up a raised causeway to the castle. The outer bailey is now a large grassy area. There is no trace left of the stables, bakehouses and workshops built here.

The inner bailey is surrounded by a stone curtain wall with the remains of storage areas, kitchen, great hall and great chamber. These would have become the main residence after the tower collapsed.  Originally a single storey building,  it was converted into a two storey building with vaulted basement and upper floors reached by a stone staircase after the tower collapsed.

Duffus Castle
There is a smaller ditch round the motte and new wooden stairs lead up to the tower. Entry is though a round top door into the portcullis chamber, still with its grooves. On the right was the porterís lodge with a latrine at the end of the corridor. To the left are the remains of the stone stairs to the upper floors. The basement was used for storage with the hall above.

The inside of the tower is now roofless. There are good views of the collapsed north west corner, complete with its latrine shaft.

Duffus Castle

We could also see signs of collapse in the windows on the south wall.

Duffus Castle

<<Previous page
Back to top
Next page>>

Eleanor's Pages Index