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Cateran Ecomuseum

Forter Castle

A fine example of a late medieval Tower House.

Forter Castle was built by the Ogilvys of Airlie as a fortified house in 1560.

Such ‘Tower Houses’ as they are known, were intended primarily as dwellings, but constructed so that they could be made secure and defended in times of trouble. Consequently, they have few windows and doors close to their base, and the principal rooms are at least one storey above ground level.

The principal reason for Forter’s construction was to fortify and protect the entrance to the Balloch Pass to Glenshee and the important Monega Pass to Braemar and the North.

At the time it was built, marauding bands of Caterans threatened the settled folk in this area and the clan feuds, stoked by religious differences as Protestantism came in to supplant the old Catholic religion, made it necessary to build a new ‘fortalice’ for the house of Ogilvy.

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