The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Kilspindie Castle

Lothians: Just north-west of Aberlady, on minor road west from A198 north of junction with A6137, near shore of Aberlady Bay, Glebe Field, south of Kilspindie, at Kilspindie Castle.

 

Ruin or site   NT 462801   OS: 66   EH32 0QD

 

OPEN: Access at all reasonable times.

 

Aberlady Parish Church: www.aberlady-gullaneparishchurches.org.uk

Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady in East Lothian in central Scotland. Kilspindie Castle (© Martin Coventry)

Virtually nothing remains of a 16th-century tower house, except some of the basement with a entrance and gunloop. An iron-studded door from here is now at Luffness.

Kilspindie Castle, Aberlady (© Martin Coventry)

There is evidence of early settlement in the field in which the ruin stands. The lands were originally held by the Spences, but passed with Aberlady to the Douglas Earl of Angus around the beginning of the 16th century. Apparently Spence of Kilspindie had feuded with Archibald, 5th Earl of Angus, or perhaps with Greysteil mentioned below, that resulted in Spence losing his leg to Angus’s sword.

  Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, known as ‘Greysteil’ was Provost of Edinburgh in 1519, 1521 and 1526, and Lord Treasurer of Scotland. When James V assumed power in 1528, the king turned on the Douglases and Archibald fled abroad and he was forfeited. His son, Archibald, recovered the property and was also Provost of Edinburgh in 1554 and 1562.

  The castle may have been destroyed in the 1540s during fighting with the English, and Patrick Douglas of Kilspindie built the castle, tower and fortalice, that is mentioned in a ratification of 1612.

Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady in East Lothian in central Scotland. Kilspindie Castle (© Martin Coventry)

The property went to the Hays in 1621 after being held by the Protestant Bishops of Dunkeld, and they may have rebuilt or remodelled the castle. Kilspindie went to the Fletchers of Saltoun in 1669. The lands and links of Aberlady are mentioned in a ratification of 1672 for Fletcher, with the castle, tower and fortalices thereof. The castle, however, was probably demolished by 1700 (perhaps later) and little now remains. It does, however, appear to be marked on Adair’s map of East Lothian, although un-named, shown in a wooded emclosure.

Aberlady Parish Church, near Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located in a lovely spot by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady with its fine parch church in East Lothian in central Scotland. Kilspindie Castle: Aberlady Parish Church (© Martin Coventry)
Aberlady Parish Church, near Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located in a lovely spot by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady with its fine parch church in East Lothian in central Scotland. Kilspindie Castle: Aberlady Parish Church (© Martin Coventry)

Aberlady Parish Church [NT 461798], nearby on Main Street, is an imposing building, with an interesting burial ground with many elaborate old carved memorials. The tower has a corbelled out parapet and dates from the 15th century, and one storey was used as a doocot at one time. There are burial enclosures for the Hopes of Luffness and the Earls of Wemyss. The church was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century as a large box-like edifice, but was rebuilt and lowered in 1887 by Francis, 9th Earl of Wemyss (also see Gosford House) and the building has an attractive and tranquil arts and crafts interior.

Effigy of Louisa Bingham, Countess of Wemyss, Aberlady Parish Church, near Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located in a lovely spot by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady with its fine parch church in East Lothian Kilspindie Castle: effigy of Louisa Bingham, Countess of Wemyss, yikes! (© Martin Coventry)

Apart, that is, from the beautifully executed but slightly sinister full-size effigy in white marble of Louisa Bingham, wife of Francis, 9th Earl of Wemyss, by John Rhind also in 1887. There is a replica of a fragment of a carved cross dating from the 8th century and found in the grounds of the adjacent former manse (the original is in the Museum of Scotland).

Aberlady Parish Church, near Kilspindie Castle, a very ruinous tower house, located in a lovely spot by the sea in a field to the north of pretty village of Aberlady with its fine parch church in East Lothian in central Scotland. Kilspindie Castle: Aberlady Parish Church (© Martin Coventry)

Aberlady is a pretty place with the village cross on the High Street, many attractive old cottages and houses, and two hotels and restaurants, Ducks Inn and the Old Aberlady Inn. There is a walk to the remains of the priory at Luffness.

  The Custom House [NT 457803], a plain building of two storeys, dates from the late 18th century with later work. It was used as a customs house and warehouse for the haven at Aberlady, but was later converted to house fisherman.

GOBLINSHEAD ONLINE SHOP

(coming soon…)

Contact

Goblinshead

Cockenzie House
22 Edinburgh Road
Cockenzie

EH32 0HY

 

Email: info@thecastlesofscotland.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Martin Coventry