Built for the Fraser family in the 1500s, Kinnaird Head was altered from a castle in 1787, to contain the first lighthouse built by the Northern Lighthouse Board.
In summer 1814, Scott voyaged from Edinburgh to Glasgow – via Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides and the west coast – sailing with the Commissioners of the Northern Lights.
His diary tells that they ‘left the port of Leith on the 26th July 1814, ran along the east of Scotland, viewing its different curiosities’. Stopping at Fraserburgh, ‘a neat little town’, Scott stayed aboard to write in his journal, while the commissioners went ashore to inspect the lighthouse.
Listen to 'Salute the Castle'
Listen to Walter Scott’s view of the castle at Kinnaird Head from the sea.
Read 'Salute the Castle'
‘The old castle, now bearing the light, is a picturesque object from the sea.
It was the baronial mansion of the Frasers, now Lords Saltoun – an old square tower with minor fortifications towards the landing place on the sea-side.
About eleven, the Commissioners came off and we leave this town, the extreme point of the Moray Firth, to stretch to Shetland – salute the castle with three guns and stretch out with a merry gale’.
Sir Walter Scott - Celebrating 250 Years
In 2021-22, Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of one of its most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott. This online exhibition and audio trail of his legacies is part of the celebrations.
'Salute the Castle' has been performed by Edinburgh actor Gavin Paul, who is looking forward to visiting some of these important historical sights.