#166 Corgarff Castle
Aberdeen & Gordon, Scotland
This is NOT an official Lego site

Corgarff Castle was built about 1550, probably by John Forbes of Towie.  The land, the "Forest of Corgarff", had been granted to Sir Alexander Elphinstone in 1507.  Alexander was created the 1st Lord Elphinstone in 1510, but soon died (in 1513) in the Battle of Flodden.  The land passed his son, also Alexander.  The 2nd Lord Elphinstone made over the estate to his eldest son as a wedding present in 1546.  The 2nd Lord Elphinstone died the next year in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.  The lands were soon in the hands of a tenant, John Forbes of Towie, suggesting that the son may have died in battle with his father.  It was a typical tower house of the gentry in the middle of the 16th century, in this case featuring both a caphouse and a box machicolation to protect the first floor entrance.  In 1571, the Forbes's of Corgarff allied themselves with James VI over his mother, Mary Queen of Scots.  That November men attacked Corgarff, intent on capturing the castle for Queen Mary.  The laird was away, but the attackers set the castle on fire, and Margaret Forbes and almost two dozen of her family and servants burnt to death.  In 1607 the castle was seized by ruffians; in 1645 the castle was occupied by the Marquis of Montrose, who was campaigning for King Charles I.  The castle was again burnt in 1690 by Jacobite supporters of James VII, and the castle was apparently abandoned.

Following the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the military decided to add western Aberdeenshire to its network of garrisons.  By 1748 Corgarff Castle and nearby Braemar Castle were being converted in soldier's barracks. The tower was practically gutted, with the tall arched hall level turned into two floors.  The famous star-shaped barmkin, along with a pavilion at each end of the tower, were built at this time.  By the end of the century the Highlands had ceased to pose a threat to England and her Redcoat soldiers, and by 1802 the castle was in the hands of James McHardy, a local farmer and whiskey distiller.  The castle was again garrisoned between 1827 and 1831, when illegal Scotch whiskey production was a significant problem.  The castle was occupied by locals until 1912 and then became derelict.  It was given into State care in 1961, and much preservation work has been done since then by Historic Scotland, now Historic Environment Scotland.


Plans, Elevations & Cross-sections
Ground, First & Mezzanine Floor Plans
Second Floor, Garret and Cap House Plans
Section through A-B
of the old ground plan
This is the drawing from my
official Historic Scotland guide
that I followed for my model
Look at this beautiful model of the
castle as it would have looked about
1750, created in about 2002 by
Jeremy Folkman of Calgary, Canada!


Photos of the Lego Model
under construction
Plans are drawn and the castle laid
out on January 29.  Hopefully it will
look a bit like it did in John Forbes day.
The plan is to have a simple
tower with an enclosure to
protect sheep and grow a few
By the next day the model is
up to roof level. The base of
the box machicolation is ready.
January 31 will see not
only completion of the
castle, but refinement
of the barmkin itself.


Photos of the Lego Model
Built January 29-31, 2018
Here's the completed tower
as seen from the SSW
The view from the west
gives an idea of how an
original barmkin might have
connected to the tower.
The northwest view
highlights the rough shed
against the back wall.
The NNE view with its unique
The ENE view.
The tower from
the ESE.
It's a nice, cozy home
if you have good knees.


Build Your Own
Ground, First floor and Top Down Lego Plans
South Elevation West Elevation North Elevation

Other Corgarff Castle pages:

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main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney

Page designed by Robert Carney &
Anne Sullivan
Page maintained by
Robert Carney