Castle guide shines a light on the Broch

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A Broch lighthouse has been included on a list of Scottish castles, harking back to its original purpose in the late 1500s.

Kinnaird Head lighthouse will feature on Visit Scotland’s Castle Trail having only ever featured in the coastal trail before.

Artist's impression of what Kinnaird Head Castle looked like

Artist's impression of what Kinnaird Head Castle looked like

Lynda McGuigan, Manager of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, which cares for the attraction, said: “The focus was always on the lighthouse but now we’ll slightly change our focus to Kinnaird Head castle and it’s conversion to a lighthouse.”

Ms McGuigan says the museum will be able to open up more of the castle features like the kitchens to the public as their inclusion on the Castle Trail opens them up to a potential £75,000 visitors.

The original castle structure was built in 1570 by Sir Alexander Fraser, who founded and named Fraserburgh in 1592.

After he became bankrupt Kinnaird Head Castle, known as the Castle of Fraserburgh, became Sir Fraser’s main residence.

Michael Strachan, Collections Manager at the Museum, said: “This is the first year we have been featured in the Castle Trail because of our manager Lynda.

“We will be changing the tour slightly to involve more castle history.”

The castle was last used as such in 1750 by a leading Jacobite John Gordon of Kinellar who had married into the Fraser family .

When the Kinellars left in 1750 the castle remained empty until it was bought by the Trustees of the Northern Lighthouses, and the tower converted in to their first lighthouse in December 1787.

Mr Strachan said: “It’s a site that will attract both lighthouse and castle enthusiasts.

“It’s a unique castle that has now been reborn three times.”

Ms McGuigan said: “Our visitors experience will be enhanced by our refocus on Kinnaird Head Castle.

“It’s the most unique castle in the Castle Trail - none of the rest of them have a lighthouse.”

The museum also hopes to get access to the historic Wine Tower opened to the public within the next year after work is done by Historic Scotland.

Ms McGuigan believes that visitors could now could spend a day with the multitude of attractions on show.

She said: “For one entrance fee you have a castle, a lighthouse and a museum.

Kinnaird Head Castle’s inclusion on the Castle Trail is the first time that Fraserburgh will have been included on the tourist trail.