Castle Roy is an 12th century fortress built by the Clan Comyn on a small glacial mound to the north of the modern village of Nethy Bridge. In 1420 the whole area came under the stewardship of the Clan Grant who are still the clan of this area today.
With its walls still standing 25 feet high, the castle is a simple, irregular 4 sided stronghold which has been largely unaltered over the centuries and is (according to McGibbon and Ross) one of the oldest unchanged castles of its type in Scotland.
The main architectural feature is a tower on the north-western corner which still has a window with a lintel. There is an entrance archway in the centre of the north-eastern side, with a small doorway on the western side for day to day use. In the garde-robe area is evidence of the chieftain’s latrine at ground level and two latrines on an upper level.
The Castle Roy Charitable Trust
The aims of the Castle Roy Charitable Trust are to preserve the Castle, as it stands, for future generations. To make it a free, all abilities, visitor and education centre, to create a community venue for the outdoor performing arts and other events, such as weddings and family parties.
The Trust has been working to stabilise the walls since taking ownership of the castle from Lady Pauline Grant-Ogilvy-Nicholson in 1994. In 2011 a survey found that the tower was falling outwards and twisting slightly so urgent repairs were carried out. Foundations were established and braces put in place to stop any further movement.
The south-west corner of the castle had collapsed a considerable time ago and rabbits and livestock had created a great deal of damage to the base of most of the rest of the walls. Therefore the second phase of consolidation undertaken was to create foundations under all of the walls, which was completed in October 2012.
Further work continued to fill the serious areas of undercuts within the walls most of which were on the inside. The current phase of consolidation, 2017, aims to finish the building works making the castle safe to open to the public.
The new work has been made possible with the support of Cairngorms LEADER , Architectural Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland
There is one stone in the Tower area which has been carved several centuries ago. A lozenge encloses a few initials and it’s an interesting thought to imagine who carved them; when and who they represented. One seems to be WJG (maybe a Grant?) and the other JMC or IMC (maybe a Cumming?) Probably not but fun to play with.
Tartans of the Clans connected with Castle Roy
This is a Grant Tartan copied from an image from Lord Strathspey which he wishes to be the official Clan one.
Comyn/Cumming John, Lord of Badenoch.
The Red Comyn fought Robert the Bruce for the Scottish throne and died in the attempt. The Comyns of Altyre became Chiefs of the Clan. The true origins of the tartan are unknown as the claims of antiquity made in the Vestiarium Scoticum, where this version of the tartan was first recorded, are unreliable.
How YOU can help
In order to preserve the ruins of Castle Roy for future generations, The Castle Roy Trust urgently needs funds to help with all of these works which are very specialised and therefore costly.
With all of this in mind, please consider ‘buying’ a Square Yard of Castle Roy.
See the page which explains the costs of various types of Square Yard and what you get for your money. It is easy to pay by Paypal wherever you are. Just use your credit or debit card on the Paypal website you do not need to have a Paypal account.
Location of Castle Roy
The Castle is on a mound about one mile out of the village, on the B970 on the way to Grantown.
To find us, follow this What3Words link
Bought a Square Yard and want to see it in the flesh? Or, perhaps you may simply want to come along and visit – this is where we are
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Click here for photographs of the castle from the start of the 20th Century and through the various stages of consolidation to date.
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