Historic Slains Castle given listed status

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An historic Buchan castle has gained listed status for its historical interest and architecture.

The foreboding cliff-top located Slains Castle, which is thought to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, has been awarded listed status by Historic Environment Scotland.

The listing recognises the special architectural and historic interest of ‘New’ Slains Castle, from its origins in the 16th century to its significant remodelling in the 19th century.

Its spectacular clifftop setting and fascinating historical connections, also contributed to the decision to list.

Head of designations at HSE Elizabeth McCrone said: “This impressive ruin has four centuries of history to tell us about and it is remarkable, not only for its architecture, but also for its literary associations.

“Dr Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell visited New Slains Castle in 1773 and both were moved to write about it in their subsequent famous journals about their tour of Scotland.”

A delighted Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith told the Buchanie: “I think Slains Castle’s new listed status will be welcomed by many in the local community.

“It is an iconic building and attracts many visitors from far and wide.

“There’s now an opportunity for the castle owners to ‘up the tourist offer’ here – there’s a range of things could be done to both increase tourism and also generate a return on any investment.

“This could be a catalyst for that,” he added.

In the 19th century the author Bram Stoker stayed in the area and the castle is said to have helped to inspire his most famous novel, Dracula.

Today, the castle continues to dominate the landscape and command views over the North Sea – making it a unique landmark in the area - and it is hoped the listing will help ensure that interest is recognised for future generations.

The castle was constructed in the 16th century by Francis Hay to replace Old Slains Castle to the south which was destroyed in reprisal for Hay’s participation in a rebellion against James VI.