Featured image of Castle Fraser

The History Of Castle Fraser

LocationKemnay, County of Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byNational Trust for Scotland
Official WebsiteCastle Fraser
Rooms AvailableYes (Filming, Wedding)

Castle Fraser is one of the admirable stately homes in Scotland, set in glorious countryside, and is the perfect place to experience the atmosphere of old Scotland. Castle Fraser walks will let you see how the estate’s design is combined with practical functionality and impressive vistas.


The first construction of Castle Fraser began in the mid-fourteenth century as a three-story rectangular Tower House. The surrounding lands, known as Muchall, originally belonged to Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar. However, after he died in 1435 without a legitimate heir, the castle and estates passed to the Crown. James II (1437-60) granted both Muchall and Stoneywood to Thomas Fraser in the mid-fifteenth century. He built the castle in 1455 and called his fortified house the Castle of Muchil-in-Mar.

The castle was substantially modified by Michael Fraser, Sixth Laird of Fraser, in the sixteenth century. He built two new turrets on diagonally opposite corners of the already existing Tower House to form a Z-plan castle. Work began on the project in 1575, but as the progress was slow, it remained incomplete when he died in 1588. The responsibility to complete the construction was left to his son, Andrew Fraser. Andrew was uplifted to become Lord Fraser in 1633. However, he died in December 1636, leaving the castle, estate, and title to his son, Andrew. In 1644, the castle was attacked by the Royalist commander in Scotland, James Graham, Marquis of Montrose. He devastated the surrounding estate, but due to the lack of time and siege equipment, he left the castle untouched. This was the only time Castle Fraser came close to seeing military action in the castle’s long history.

In 1656, Andrew was succeeded by his son, another Andrew, who became the third Lord of Fraser. After his death in May 1674, due to the extensive debts, the castle went under the control of Charles Erskine, the Earl of Mar, and subsequently to his wife, Jean Mackenzie. Andrew’s son, Charles Fraser, then Lord Fraser, reacquired the control of the estate in 1703.

In the late eighteenth century, Castle Fraser was inherited by Elyza Fraser. She made many changes to the castle, including the surrounding grounds, which were landscaped under the oversight of James Giles, an Aberdeenshire artist. The castle underwent further modifications between 1820 and 1850 when the interior was rebuilt.

The castle was sold to Weetman Pearson, Viscount Cowdray, in 1921. In the 1950s, some work was started to remove the sections of the nineteenth-century modifications. Castle Fraser was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1976.


Castle Fraser
Castle Fraser”, by Brian Yap, is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Castle Fraser is the most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland. It is filled with family portraits, ornaments, and mementoes, all of which have unique stories about the lairds. One of the castle’s most expressive rooms is the striking Great Hall. The chambers on view are small by the standards of later grand country houses but provide Castle Fraser with a homely and welcoming feel. The furnishings are attractive and consist of exhibitions on the family’s long history. The estate contains a flight pond, mixed woodland, and open farmland, with two waymarked walks giving magnificent views of the local hills. The historic walled garden features shrubs, flowers, vegetables, specimen trees, herbaceous borders, a medicinal border, and organically grown fruit and vegetables.

Movie Features

The Queen (2006)– Castle Fraser is featured in the Biography Drama’ The Queen’ about the time after the death of Princess Diana. It was when Queen Elizabeth II struggled with her reaction to a sequence of events that nobody could have predicted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lived in Castle Fraser?

Castle Fraser has been home to the Fraser family for over 400 years.

Where is Castle Fraser?

Castle Fraser is a glorious fortified castle located near Kemnay village in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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