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Gight Castle

Also called Formantine
Castle, Gight Castle
sits along the Ythan
River to the east of the
town of Fyvie in
Grampian. An L-plan
tower house, it was built
around 1560 by
members of the Gordon
family and was plagued
throughout its history
by murder, hardship,
and unexpected deaths.            
 Gight Castle today photo courtesy of Stan Bruce
Even the castle itself met its
demise, and all that remains are
its skeletal ruins. The family lost
the castle in 1787, when
Catherine Gordon, mother of
the famous poet, Lord Byron,
had to sell the entire estate to
pay for the gambling debts of
her husband.  Near the castle
is the Hagberry Pot, a
near-bottomless natural well
where the 7th laird of Gight hid
his treasures to protect them         
Ruin of the Doo-cot photo courtesy of Stan Bruce
during the Covenanters Rebellion.  But when the greedy man tried to reclaim his
riches after the rebellion was over, he was in for a surprise.  A diver he sent down to
retrieve the treasure scurried back to the surface saying the Devil himself was
protecting it. When he insisted the diver try again, the diver's lifeless body floated
back up to the surface  after a few minutes. Something had severed the body into
four pieces.

The following description accompanied a 19th C. Ordnance Survey map from the
Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical,
Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in
parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and

Gight, a ruined castle in Fyvie parish, N Aberdeenshire, on the left bank of the
Ythan, 31/8 miles ENE of Woodhead or Fyvie village, and 9 SE of Turriff. Crowning
the brink of a rocky eminence, with the Braes of Gight on one side, and the Braes of
Haddo or Formartine on the other, it commands a circle of exquisite scenery, dates
from remote times, and continued to be inhabited till the latter part of last century. It
figures commonly in history as the House of Gight, was plundered by the
Covenanters in 1644, and now is remarkable only for the great strength of its
remaining walls. The estate, having belonged for many generations to the Maitlands,
became about 1479 the property of William Gordon, third son of the second Earl of
Huntly. It remained in possession of his lineal descendants till 1785, when the last
heiress, Catherine Gordon of Gight, married the Hon. John Byron; so that it would
have passed to their son, Lord Byron the poet, had it not been sold in 1787 to the
third Earl of Aberdeen.—Ord. Sur., sh. 87, 1876.
Picture Courtesy of Stan Bruce
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