Hey, everyone. How are you today? I hope you all are staying well.
What sorts of things have been occupying your days? I have been teaching myself how to bake bread – along with the rest of the world, it seems -ha! I’m getting pretty good at it if I may say so myself!
Today, I’d like to give you a quick peek at Fordyce, Scotland, and the fairy tale castle that graces the center of the village. This utterly charming and (as locals would say) “chocolate box” town is located in Aberdeenshire, in the northeast section of the country, set among scenic rolling hills and only about a mile from the sea.
Though many of the houses in Fordyce were built in the 18th century or later, the layout of the village still follows the old medieval street plan. Homes are set close together, with a warren of narrow streets winding through the town.
Fordyce is in the same vicinity as Inchdrewer Castle and Findlater Castle, both of which I wrote about last year. In fact, Mr. C and I were on the way to visit Inchdrewer and Findlater this particular day but had decided to stop in Fordyce first to eat lunch at The Old Kirk Cafe and Bistro. I am so thankful we did!
It turned out to be the most delicious meal of that whole trip.
The cafe, located in an 18th-century building, was once a Church of Scotland parish church. It closed, however, in 2012 due to instability within the building’s construction. A Scottish couple purchased the church in 2014 and painstakingly and lovingly converted it into both their home and business.
Finding Fordyce Castle within the village was a complete accident. As I have said before, my favorite sites have often been the ones that have taken us by surprise.
Fordyce Castle was built in 1592 for a wealthy Aberdeen provost and merchant named Thomas Menzies of Kirkhill.
The castle was later passed to Margaret Ogilvie and then to Lady Anne Dunbar in the 17th-century. When Lady Anne married James, 1st Earl of Seafield, and 4th Earl of Findlater, the castle became part of the Seafield Estates. It remained as part of the Seafield Estates for the next 300 years.
Since our short stop in Fordyce, I have learned that the owners of Fordyce Castle own several properties in the area that are available as holiday rentals. Three of those apartments are located right there at the castle. Though there are no accommodations within the castle itself, the owners offer The West Wing (attached), Lady Margaret Cottage (next door), and the Thomas of Durn Cottage (across the street).
Our visit that day was brief, but I was totally charmed by Fordyce. I will, most assuredly, make a return visit sometime in the future.
Friends, thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the post. Next time, we’ll visit the fascinating, historic kirk and kirkyard located next to the castle – parts of which date back to 1272!
Take care and stay safe.