Spynie Castle or Spynie Palace in Nr Elgin, Moray, was built in the late 12th Century and has been the fortified seat of Moray’s Bishops for about 500 years.
The exact origins of the castle are unclear. Moray’s early Bishops had no fixed abode and instead moved between houses at Birnie, Kinneddar, and Spynie. In 1172, King William I, the Lion, made grants to the Bishopric of Moray. In April 1206, Pope Innocent III authorized the permanent move to Spynie.
Excavations carried out between 1986 and 1994 revealed that the first castle was a wooden structure built in the late 12th century. These buildings, probably a bishop’s house with a hall, a bed-chamber, a chapel, and a brew house and bake house, were surrounded by a rectangular ring work and ditch.
The wooden buildings were gradually replaced with stone throughout the 14th century, when the first main castle building, a near-square structure built within a 7-meter-high curtain wall, was erected.
The castle was described for the first time as a Palace in the Registry of Moray in a writ of 1524. The most significant buildings were established in the later 15th and 16th centuries.
Visit Spynie Castle
1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm
Last entry 5pm
1 Oct to 31 Mar:
Near, Elgin IV30 5QG
National Grid reference: NJ 227 658.
|Member/Explorer Pass holder||Free|
|Child aged 5-15||£7.20|
|Child under 5||Free|
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