New Slains Castle, Aberdeenshire
Little more than a derelict shell, the haunting ruin of New Slains Castle cuts an imposing landmark on the windswept coastline of Aberdeenshire. The roof has long since collapsed and a carpet of grass extends throughout. Only the internal walls offer a glimpse back to the structure’s heyday. Built by Francis Hay, Earl of Erroll, at the end of the 16th century to replace Old Slains Castle, which had been destroyed on the orders of King James VI following a religious rebellion, the castle’s most distinguished visitor finally arrived some 300 years later.
Said to have been invited by the 18th Earl of Erroll, Bram Stoker walked the corridors of New Slains while visiting Cruden Bay in 1894, likely drawing inspiration for his classic horror novel Dracula, which was published three years later. The castle was abandoned in the early 20th century when financial difficulties forced the 20th Earl to sell New Slains, which was quickly gutted and left to the ravages of time.