One of the oldest in Scotland, the keep of Hallforest Castle was built in the 14th century. Located in Aberdeenshire, it is roughly 1.5 miles from Kintore. Hall Forest Castle, Castle of Hallforrest, and just plain Hallforrest are all alternate names for this remarkable structure.
Views of Hallforest Castle, which is situated to the west of Kintore, can be had from the fields that surround Castle Farm. It is not in a very powerful or significant position, as it is located on a minor rise on an east-facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Don. The view from this vantage point is not very impressive. The grounds of the castle are open to free roaming by livestock, which is typically found in the fields that surround the structure.
The principal access door was located on the ground floor, but the eastern gable has since collapsed, turning it into the primary point of entry. There is no indication that a staircase was used to navigate the interior of the castle; nevertheless, there are four small slit windows and possibly a fifth where the wall has crumbled, which suggests that timber ladders were utilised. Because there is a miniature oven constructed into the wall in the east gable entresol level near to the fireplace, it is likely that this level was utilised as a kitchen. This chamber is also illuminated by the same four slit windows that were used to illuminate the prior chamber. The great hall is illuminated by four windows: two large ones in the south wall, two smaller ones in the west gable on either side of the main fireplace, and the entrance doorway in the east gable. All of these windows are located in the west gable. A second wooden level, which may have been a solar or the private quarters of the lord, was positioned directly above the great hall. A pitched wooden roof covered the attic space that was located above the second vault, and it was likely that there was another floor of chambers located on that upper level. There are signs of a short staircase leading to the wall walk from the second floor and a ditch to the west, but there is no sign of the stone wall that was depicted in a sketch from the 19th century. If your hoping to visit or stay then book accommodation searching stay4you.com to book direct with owners.
The monarch gave Sir Robert de Keith the royal forest of Kintore in 1309, and he confirmed the grant with a charter in 1324; consequently, the stronghold was built to service the forest after the king gave Sir Robert de Keith the royal forest of Kintore. The land surrounding Kintore had been held for centuries, but the forest itself belonged to the Scottish king. It has been suggested that Robert Bruce commissioned the tower before this period, which is odd considering the king's reluctance to allow fortresses to continue standing. It is more likely that the "hall of the forest of Kintore" recorded in 1351 was built after Robert's reign. This is because the king was reluctant to allow fortresses to continue standing. Charters made by David II in 1362 and 1366 at "our manor of the forest of Kintore" provide evidence that the fortification was still possessed by the crown at that time. There are three grants made by David II to the Keith family that name the forest of Kintore, but the date at which the Keiths obtained ownership of Hallforest is unknown. This suggests that the castle was most likely built at David II's direction and was only handed over to the Keiths after its completion. Towers like Drum's, which date back to the middle of the 14th century and also have two stone vaults, are examples of such structures. The presence of walls with a thickness of more than 2 metres is suggestive of an early construction date. It was the home of the Keith Earls Marischal until sometime in the 17th century, when it appears to have gone out of use. Hallforest Castle remained their family seat until that time. In spite of the fact that it was in disrepair when he inherited it in the 18th century, Lord Falconer of Halkertoun brought back its previous splendour. It would appear that the Keith family never put the castle to use for military purposes, instead using it as a hunting seat throughout their history.
Two large barrel vaults take up most of the tower and are separated by wooden floors to form a cellar with a variety of rooms.
In addition to the kitchen, there is also a hall. No evidence of stairs leading up through the walls has been found, and all the windows are on the south side, therefore access was likely gained by wooden ladders and hatches.
- Castle Of Hallforest 57.229°N Longitude 2.3706°W
- Castle Of Hallforest Postcode AB51 0TU
- Castle Of Hallforest 4 day weather guide
- Castle Of Hallforest Map National Grid Reference: NJ 777 154
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