Historic Scotland

Opening times

Open year-round.

 

Overview

Visit this medieval stronghold of the Moray family, one of Scotland’s finest motte and bailey castles.  

Mottes were common in Scotland the 1100s and 1200s, before they were replaced by stone castles. They were fortifications, usually consisting of a wooden keep on top of an artificial earthwork mound. Some also had an enclosed courtyard or bailey, containing additional wooden buildings, protected by a ditch and palisade. 

Duffus Castle was a fortressresidence for more than 500 years, from the 1100s to the 1700s. The stone castle we see today was built in the 1300s, replacing an earlier timber fortress. 

Once one of the strongest castles in Scotland, it was reduced to a decaying ruin by the time of its abandonment in 1705. But the castle remains an impressive sight, situated on a mound rising out of the flat Laich of Moray.