New Slains Castle ruins lie on the edge of the cliffs of the North Sea of Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The New Slains Castle is referred to as ‘New’ Slains because there is an ‘Old’ Slains Castle located just 6 miles away. All that remains of ‘Old’ Slains Castle is a bit of wall, as it was destroyed in 1594 by King James VI, when Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll, was deemed a traitor. Francis Hay, Earl of Erroll, fled the area but later returned to Scotland because he returned to royal favor when he renounced his Roman Catholicism in 1597. He abandoned the old castle and built a new one on the cliffs, with a courtyard and square tower on the present site, it was named Bowness. Eventually the castle became known as New Slains and in 1664 the wings of the home were extended and in 1707 the front entrance was revitalized.
In the 1830’s, the 18th Earl of Erroll, William Hay commissioned architect John Smith to remodel the castle. The castle was practically rebuilt in Scots Baronial style. The 20th Earl of Erroll sold New Slains in 1913, ending the 300 year occupation of the family Hay. It was purchased by the wealthy sir John Ellerman who owned Ellerman Lines Shipping Company. Unfortunately, he had the roof removed in 1925 to avoid taxes and the building was abandoned and has been deteriorating ever since. The walls stand intact and mostly in fairly decent condition.
In 2004, Slains Partnership prepared a conversion plan for the New Slains Castle that included renovation and remodeling into 35 holiday apartments. It was given the green light in 2007 by the Aberdeenshire Council but due to economic decline the plans were put on hold in 2009.
New Slains Castle is allegedly the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, as he visited the area in 1895. He is believed to have been a guest of the castle at some point during his stay.
Where are the abandoned ruins of New Slains Castle located? You can find it with these coordinates. 57.415173,-1.83245.
Image 1 used under Creative Commons License Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported, images was under this license January 22nd, 2014. Image 2 by Revelation Space at en.wikipedia.
Image 2 used under Creative Commons License Attribution Non Commercial No Derivs 2.0 Generic, image under this license January 22nd, 2014. Image 1 by Pierre Lesage [Flickr/tahitipix].
Images 3, 4 and 5 used under Creative Commons License Attribution Non Commercial No Derivs 2.0 Generic, images were under this license January 22nd, 2014. Images 3, 4 and 5 by Nuwandalice [Flickr/nuwandalice].