Clan Leslie Society    
Australia & New Zealand


(before restoration)
(after restoration)
Leslie Castle, Aberdeenshire - Without doubt, Leslie Castle, in the Parish of Leslie in the district of The Garioch was the site of the original Baronial grant to Bartholf, or his son Malcolm. The original Castle was a raised mound surrounded by a stockade, also known as a motte, but was replaced in the 14th century by a stone castle.

The first known castle was of great strength and was surrounded by a fosse , or moat, with a drawbridge on the west side with a watch tower to protect it. It was a castellated style of building with two massive towers or keeps, joined at right angles and the towers were topped with turrets, which were commonly called pepper-boxes. The walls were around six feet thick and the ground floor, was supported by massive arches with vaults underneath. As can be seen in the photograph, the castle consists of a square tower, rising the whole height of the castle with turreted towers connected to the main tower which then gave the living areas for the family and servants.

The Barony remained in the possession of the Leslie family till 1620 when George Leslie 8th Baron of That Ilk mortgaged the Barony to John Forbes of Enzean. William Forbes, son of John Forbes, succeeded his father in the Barony of Leslie and became the first Forbes of Leslie. He rebuilt the castle in 1651 as appears in an inscription on one of the interior walls, dated 17th June 1651 and he placed the Forbes coat of arms over the entrance to the castle, with the inscription "Haec Corp. Sydera mentem". The Barony of Leslie did not remain in the possession of the Forbes family for long as it was then sold.

Leslie Castle was inhabited up to the start of the 19th century but was then allowed to fall into disrepair, the moat was filled and all the fine gardens and ornamental trees cut down. The roof then started to fall in and the whole building was left to the weather and vandals. In 1979, David Carnegie Leslie, an architect from Aberdeen and his wife Leslie, purchased the ruins of the Castle and after much work the repairs were completed and then in 1995, David and Leslie held a gathering at the Castle, which was attended by the Earl of Rothes and Leslie's from all around the world, including America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Leslie Castle, has now been sold by David and Leslie, but they have retained a block of land on the site and are building a home there, in keeping with the design of Leslie Castle.