In 1200 Tolquhon Castle was a property of the crown located in the Thanage of Formartine. In 1390 Robert III granted the property to Sir Thomas Preston.
At the beginning of the 1400 Sir Thomas built the tower house with several auxiliary buildings like the great hall and the kitchen. Sir Thomas died in 1433 without leaving a male heir and the castle passed to his second daughter’s husband, John Forbes.
In 1544 Sir William Forbes inherited the castle and in 1584 he began expanding and improving the castle. In 1589 he built for him and his wife Elizabeth Gordon a monumental tomb in the south isle of Tarves parish kirk. In 1596 he was laid to rest there.
In 1651 the 10th Earl of Torquhon, Alexander, saved Charles II life during the battle of Worchester and was knighted in reward.
The 11th Earl lost what was left of the family fortune by backing a failed plan to start a Scottish colony on the Darien peninsula.
In 1716 the property was sold to the owner of Haddo House becoming an enormous land holding of that family. In 1718 William Forbes the 11th Earl of Torquhon had to be forcibly removed from Torquhon Castle.
The castle was used as a farmhouse in the 1800. In 1929 it was transferred to Historic Scotland.
The great hall.
The day we visited Tolquhon there was a group of school children visiting the castle. A man dressed as an archer took them through the courtyard and out into the field for a demonstration of archery. You can see how the curtain wall extends from here.
I love this next picture of the lower level hallway that extends the length of the main house. Off of this hall would be the kitchen and other rooms. Then stairways led up to the great hall and the families living quarters.
Tolquhon was a beautiful ruin. We enjoyed being there. Because the roofs weren't there to block our view, we were able to study how a castle of this type was constructed while standing at the highest levels.
I was facinated by the stone tile in the great hall and how beautifully the windows were constructed.
I know that most people think of castles as cold and drafty and they probably were, but the Scottish aristocracy lived in their own kind of opulance.
Tomorrow I'll be talking about Haddo House.