Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Decay of Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Gordon in northern (and rather remote Scotland) was considered to be the largest building of Scotland in the eighteenth century. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle grew, and grew, and grew.  The home-loving Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, husband to Jane, Duchess of Gordon, added to the baronial home considerably until Gordon Castle was more of a Scottish Versailles. However, after his son died without an heir, transferring the Dukedom to the Duke of Richmond (who was quite happily settled in his own massive mansion, Goodwood) the castle gradually fell into disrepair. Leaky roofs forced much of these eighteenth-century additions to be demolished after which the once-grand Castle was all but forgotten. Luckily, after the second World War Lieutenant General Sir George Gordon Lennox, grandson of the 7th Duke of Richmond, took an interest in his ancestral home and began the restoration process which has continued into today. Gordon Castle, as it exists now, is only 1/8th of what existed in Jane, Duchess of Gordon's day. A wing, is now the central house, and the castle's formidable tower remains standing. The castle has been transformed into a hotel (and one that makes gin!) so it is once again open to visitors from afar.