New Slains Castle, Cruden Bay

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
New Slains Castle
Other Name(s)
Cruden Bay
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NK 1015 3610
Location Type
HS Reference No


Magnificant sea-girt courtyard palace erected by the Ninth Earl of Erroll after James VI destroyed his old castle at Collieston. The wings were customary one room thick, each apartment opening into the next, so that in 1664 a gallery was added within the courtyard to add a corridor, and a new entrance front in 1707. A magnificant ogee-roofed bow window was added in the middle of the south flank.

Substantially rebuilt and granite faced in 1836-7 by John Smith in the Baronial style. Unroofed in 1925 (Charles McKean) Bram Stoker is thought to have written part of Dracula whilst staying at Crookit Lum Cottage near Cruden Bay in 1895. He may have visited the castle as a guest of William Hay, 19th Earl of Errol. (The Herald)
Building Dates
Enlarged and virtually rebuilt 1836-7.
Rebuilt by John Smith.

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
07/02/2008, 05/10/2010, 18/10/2013
Development History
2 March 2004: The Buchan Observer reports that the castle has been derelict since the 1920s, although applications for restoration as 35 holiday lets are soon to be lodged by Acanthus Architects Douglas Forrest on behalf of the Slains Partnership. 11 September 2004: The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that local planners have backed the plans. 14 September 2004: The Buchan Observer reports that the plans are likely to be approved, though the Cruden Bay Community Association has expressed some concerns. Historic Scotland has reported that though the castle is unlisted, it is viewed as being of listable quality. It considers the proposals sympathetic to the building. 23 October 2004: The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that a public hearing is to be held in order to debate the plans. 10 November 2004: The Herald reports that outline Planning Permission has been granted. 16 November 2004: The Buchan Observer repeats the story.
February 2008: External inspection finds the property to be an unconsolidated ruin in an exposed, cliff top location. Outline Planning Permission was granted for restoration/ conversion for 35 holiday apartments in 2007. Ref: APP/2004/0321.
February 2009: SCT is contacted by a member of the public advising a news report had reported that the development has slowed and detailed planning permission has yet to lodged with Aberdeenshire Council.
October 2010: External inspection finds no significant change from the last site visit.
18 October 2013: External inspection finds the complex remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
13 August 2014: Full Planning Permission for variation of Condition 1 (Extend time period) of Planning Permission Reference APP/2004/0321 for Outline Planning Permission for Restoration and Redevelopment of Ruinous Castle to Form 35 Holiday Apartments was conditionally approved Apr 2013 ref: APP/2012/2903.
January 2017: A member of the public notes an article in the Aberdeen Evening Express (28/12/2016), reporting on the nomination of the site for listed status.
13 April 2018: The building has been assessed for listed status and has been designated a category B. BARR record updated accordingly.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01467 620981


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Residential
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
The Slains Partnership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Banff and Buchan an illustrated architectural guide Charles McKean p 166-7 The Herald "Dracula Castle could rise from grave as holiday flat" Wednesday November 10, 2004
Online Resources
Country Houses, Mansions and Large Villas
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit