An Historical perspective: (Gael. abhir-gile,
confluence of the clear stream '), the Highland
residence of the Prince of Wales, in Crathie and
Braemar parish, SW Aberdeenshire, stands, at an
altitude of 840 feet, on the right bank of the Dee, 6
miles above Ballater, and 2 below Balmoral. Behind it
rises Craig-na-Ban, a rounded granitic hill, 1736 feet
high: and cairn-crowned Geallaig (2439 feet) fronts it
across the river, which at this point is spanned by a
curious ' rope-and-cradle ' bridge. The Castle is a
massive and imposing building, its oldest part a
turreted square block-tower: the estate, extending 10
From the Scottish Tartans World Register: Gordon of
Abergeldie (Red) Portrait Tartan WR955
This sett was reconstructed from a scarf in a painting of
Rachael Gordon, hanging in Abergeldie Castle, painted by
Alexander in 1723. The count and color description was
taken by the Lord Lyon in 1953. The source of tartan 955
was: Abergeldie Castle
The castle is said to be haunted by French Kate, or Kitty
Rankie, a French domestic of the castle. Suspected of
practicing black magic, she was arrested and then found
guilty of being a witch. She was put in jail in the castle until
her guilt was finally proven. She was burned on a hill near
the castle. Her angry spirit has been seen at the castle
since the day of her death.
miles along Deeside, is finely planted with old Scotch firs, larch, and the natural birch, mixed in the private
grounds with spruce, ash, plane, and sycamore. The Birks of Abergeldie are celebrated in a time-honoured
melody, though Burns capriciously transferred their fame to Aberfeldy, where (teste Dorothy Wordsworth)
no birks were to be seen in 1803. Sir Alexander Gordon, son of the first Earl of Huntly, acquired the lands of
Abergeldie in 1482. A 16th century oblong tower three stories high plus attic. The interior is in its original
state, restored by a descendant of the builder, John Gordon of Abergeldie. In 1848 Prince Albert purchased
the lease of the estate for 40 years. The Duchess of Kent spent several autumns here between 1850 and
1861: and here the Empress Eugenie passed the October following the loss of the Prince Imperial (1879).
Abergeldie is currently (1882) used as a summer residence and "shooting box" for the Prince of Wales.
Ref. Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and
Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and published 1882-1885.
This information according to Sean Gordon of the Abergeldie Gordons is incorrect: He writes:
"The Prince of Wales does not to use it as a shooting lodge, he bides with his present consort at
Birkhall, which was prior to 1848 part of the Abergeldie estate and was sold to the then Prince of
Wales who later became Edward VII, i.e. he was Queen Victoria's eldest son. The castle at present is
occupied by the 21st Laird John Gordon, Baron of Abergeldie. He has been living there since 1972.
It was previously on lease to the Balmoral estate ( i.e. Her Majesty) and the latter have had their lease
on the game lands of the estate renewed in the year 2000.
"Also, may I respectfully point out, that the word Abergeldie is not of Gaelic origin. It is Pictish! And it
means the confluence of the Geldie Burn."