This is a picture of the ruins at Findlater Castle. It lies only a mile to the west from Sandend and sits on a 15 metre high rocky promontory that looks out over the Moray Firth. There are signs for the Castle on the A98 and you can park at Barnyards of Findlater Farm and walk about half a mile along a grassy path to the look out point. Our picture was taken quite a distance away – this was as close as we were going! The Castle is in a very ruined condition and some of the remains are very unstable so extreme care must be taken if you are venturing any further.
The name originates from the place of “Findlater”. It comes from the Norse words “fyn” and “leitr” which mean “white cliffs”. The remains that can be seen today date back to the 14th Century when it is believed the castle was built by Sir John Sinclair. In 1450, Sir Walter Ogilvy was said to have extended the already existing castle. It remained in the Ogilvy family until the middle of the 17th Century when they decided to build a new residence in Cullen and moved out. From this point onwards, the castle was left to ruin.
About half way between the car park and the cliffs, you will see a “beehive” shaped building which is Findlater Doocot. It is thought to have been built in the 1500’s. It has since been restored and now has around 700 nesting boxes inside it for local birds.
There are some lovely walks both from Cullen and Sandend out to the Castle for those that like walking and exploring the area.