Visit Fyvie and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. Fyvie Castle, in the parish of that name and close to the village of Fyvie in a pleasant wooded vale of the River Ythan, was described by Sir Herbert Maxwell as “the crowning glory of Scottish baronial architecture”. It has a South front 150 ft long with a full-sized, angle-turreted tower-house at each end, and an immense gatehouse tower projecting from the centre. This great façade has often been likened to that of a French château, and French influence in the design has been suggested. But there is no real evidence for this supposed borrowing. Fyvie is a purely Scottish creation that took its final form as the result of the combined inventions of five dynasties of lairds (the Prestons, the Meldrums, the Setons, the Gordons, and the Leiths), each of which has a tower or wing named after it — though it does not follow that they were its “onlie begetters”. Indeed, recent discoveries have shown that the architectural history of this impressive pile — which still remains the home of the Forbes-Leith family — has in the course of centuries become extremely complicated.
The tradition is that the oldest part, the Preston Tower, was built about 1400 by Sir Harry Preston, who captured the English knight Ralph Percy at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, and received the lands of Fyvie as part of the reward for the ransom of Percy. Preston died in 1433. He had two daughters: Mariota, who was the ancestress of Lord Leith and the present-day Laird, and her sister, who married Alexander Meldrum. Meldrums inherited the Castle and built the Meldrum Tower. The Castle remained in their hands for 163 years until, in 1596, they sold the lands and barony of Fyvie to Alexander Seton, Lord Urquhart, afterwards the 1st Earl of Dunfermline. Dunfermline, who was Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, built the Seton Tower as we know it today, but, as a result of discoveries made by Dr W. Douglas Simpson in 1962, we now realize that the lower part of the tower is much older than the Seton dynasty's appearance. Many windows and gun-loops and a full range of battlements have been uncovered, which Lord Dunfermline's masterly reconstruction had hidden from view for over 300 years. it was, however, Lord Dunfermline who gave the Castle the appearance that has made it architecturally renowned, and he also gave it the wonderful wheel stair that is the chief glory of the interior.
“Fyvie lands lie broad and wide, and O but they lie bonny,” says one of the innumerable versions of the ballad “Mill o' Tifty's Annie”. It is a beauty that yields its full measure when the visitor is prepared to spend a quiet hour or two in and around the modern village and up and down the vale of the Ythan from the Den of Rothie to the Braes of Fetterletter. On the farm of Lewes near the village is the Priory Cross, a monument erected in 1868 to mark the site of the ancient Priory of St Mary, founded in 1179. In 1937 the aqueduct that carried the water-supply of the monks of St Mary's was uncovered by workmen making an augmentation to the present village water-supply.
In the centre of the village, just behind the market cross, is a large boulder of white quartz called the Buchan Stone. It marks the boundary between the Earidom of Buchan and the Thanage of Formartine, which here does not follow the course of the Ythan exactly. Formartine, the territory between the Don and the Ythan, is said to have been given its name (anciently spelt Fermartyn) by St Ninian from Candida Casa, in honour of his spiritual mentor, St Martin of Tours.
Lower down the Ythan, between Fyvie and the village of Methlick, are the picturesque Braes of Gight, with the ruins of Gight Castle, the stronghold of the Gordons of Gight, whose last laird was the mother of Lord Byron. Her spendthrift husband, “mad Jack” Byron, ensured that the prophecy of Thomas the Rhymer would be fulfilled:
When the heron leaves the tree
The lairds o' Gight sall landless be.
There was at one time a great heronry here, but the herons deserted it and flew across the Ythan to nest in the lands of the earls of Aberdeen at Haddo.
Nearby towns: Ellon, Insch, Turriff
Nearby villages: Aberchirder, Auchleven, Blackford, Chapel of Garioch, Clunie, Colpy, Craigdam, Cuminestown, Daviot, Fingask, Garmond, Inkhorn, Inverkeithny, Kirkton of Culsalmond, Kirktown of Auchterless, Kirktown of Bourtie, Largue, Meikle Wartle, Methlick, Mountblairy, Nethermuir, New Deer, Newbyth, Old Rayne, Oldmeldrum, Oyne, Pitcaple, Pitmedden, Pittodrie, Pittrichie, Rothienorman, Tarves, Tifty, Tillery, Wells of Ythan, Ythsie
Have you decided to visit Fyvie or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Fyvie bed and breakfast (a Fyvie B&B or Fyvie b and b)
- a Fyvie guesthouse
- a Fyvie hotel (or motel)
- a Fyvie self-catering establishment, or
- other Fyvie accommodation