Historic Knockhall Castle for sale

The ancient castle of Knockhall with links to two of Scotland’s clans, a king and a fool is on the market at a bargain price.

The traditional tower house in Aberdeenshire is possibly the country’s cheapest castle with an asking price of offers over £130,000. The only drawback is that it is in desperate need of a little tender loving care and a complete rebuild.

  • Full feature in Issue No.15

Knockhall maybe a ruin now but it has lots of potential for the right buyer.

It is believed to have been built for Henry, Master of Sinclair, the future 6th Lord Sinclair, in 1565. He even hosted a royal visit when King James VI of Scotland stayed the night there in 1589.

The castle remained in Sinclair hands until 1633 when it was sold to a son of Udny of that Ilk. Unfortunately it was damaged in 1639 in a battle against the Earl Marischal who took the castle for the Covenanters.

The property was eventually returned to Udny hands and the family continued to occupy the building until 1734 when an accidental fire gutted the castle and it has remained a ruin ever since.

Only the quick actions of servant Jamie Fleeman, better known as ‘the Laird of Udny’s Fool’, saved the occupants from death or serious injury.

Fleeman’s amusing antics and ready wit made him a popular character in the area and he was the last person in Britain to be employed as a family jester.

As a member of the Laird’s household and pauper appearance he was free to roam the country and used to carry secret messages to Jacobite rebels.

A view of the ruins of Knockhall Castle, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland with overgrown road and dry stone wall in the foreground

Photograph by: SavillsKnockhall Castle, Aberdeenshire

The castle is a classic example of Scotland’s historic heritage and according to Real Estate agents Savills, who are selling the B-listed property on behalf of the owner, claim it would make an ideal family home or business.

More photographs and details about the castle can be found in Issue 15 of Scotland Correspondent magazine.