Ballindalloch Castle
Ballindalloch Castle (also known as The Pearl of the North) is a castle between Dufftown and Grantown-on-Spey, in the Moray region of Scotland. The first tower of the Z plan castle was built in 1546. After it was plundered and burned by James Graham, the first Marquess of Montrose, it was restored in 1645. Extensions were added in 1770 by General James Grant of the American Wars of Independence (whose ghost is said to haunt the castle) and in 1850 by the architect Thomas MacKenzie. Further extensions carried out in 1878 were mostly demolished during and modernisations enacted in 1965. It has been continuously occupied by the Russell and Macpherson-Grant families throughout its existence. The castle houses an important collection of 17th century Spanish paintings. The dining room of Ballindalloch is said to be haunted by a ghost known as The Green Lady. The castle grounds contain a 20th century rock garden and a 17th century dovecote. The rivers Spey and Avon flow through the grounds, offering excelleing fishing. The famous Aberdeen Angus cattle herd resides in the castle estate. Today, the castle is still occupied by Clare Nancy Russell and her family. Mrs Russell is the current Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire. It is open to tourists during the summer months and a number of workshops on its grounds are in active use.

It is said that the original intention was to build at a better site defensively, but when building commenced whatever was built in the day was thrown down at night. Eventually the laird, annoyed by the problem, heard a mysterious voice saying "Build in the cow-haughs, and you will meet with no interruptions. He did so, and there was no further problem with the building..


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