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"Fordyce" Scotland Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

Scotland Things to Do: 1,332 reviews and 2,716 photos

  That castle
by iandsmith
  • That castle - Scotland
      That castle
    by iandsmith
  • The crypt-ic ruins - Scotland
      The crypt-ic ruins
    by iandsmith

Fordyce is described as a magical place, a warren of narrow streets still following a medieval plan, and all wrapped around its magnetic centrepiece, Fordyce Castle, that simply beckons from a bend in the village street. I was taken in by a photo on "UndiscoveredScotland" of the castle and made sure I included it in my plans as it didn't appear anywhere else on VT at the time.
The castle is actually a relative newcomer to this ancient village, being built in 1592 by Thomas Menzies of Durn, one time Provost of Aberdeen. It is a typical 16th Century L-plan tower house, though that's difficult to ascertain now it's surrounded by other buildings, three storeys high, and amply provided with gun loops and shot holes. The west wing was added some time around 1700. The castle has seen varied use over the years, including a time as the village school. More recently it has been restored and is now partly private home, partly self catering accommodation.
The origins of the village actually go back the better part of a thousand years. The atmospheric Kirk next to the castle was known as St Talarican's. It dates back at least as far as 1272, but it is likely that an even earlier church existed on the site. The Kirk remained in use until 1804, when the congregation transferred to the new church, the one I found and parked at.
Opposite the Kirk and the castle is an attractive little park beside a bubbling burn, complete with a stunning metal leaf sculpture that also serves as a circular park bench.
For visitors Fordyce offers a Victorian garden and a nearby joiner's workshop and visitor centre (only open a couple of days a week) though, like me, you'll initially have come to see the castle. Don't ignore the village itself, take a wander as we did around the narrow streets, well-cared-for houses and cottages complete with gardens overflowing with roses. If you want to pass some time in a quiet and very beautiful village, then Fordyce really is worth a look.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 4, 2006
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