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Glenbuchat Heritage

44 Badenyon Castle 1640 map
The Glenbuchat Image Library
44 Badenyon Castle 1640 map

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Castle of Badenyon (site of)
Badenyon (from Scottish Gaelic: Bad an Eòin - Knoll of the Birds)

Castle: Medieval (from 1100 AD) traditionally the house of John O'Badenyon in the 13thC; castle was on map of 1654; was old residence of Gordons of Glenbuchat until Glenbuchat Castle was built in 1590;
The Castle of Badenyon is said to have been home to John O'Badenyon in the 13th century. It was mentioned in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of 1866, but only to say that no trace of it remained. However in 1898 apparently some pieces of sandstone from the castle were visible next to a cottage on the site.
By the 16th century the castle was the home of the Gordon’s of Glenbuchat until they moved to Glenbuchat Castle in 1590.
Moat was visible as cropmark.
Post-Medieval Chapel (from 1560) It is alleged that there was a chapel on the site but no trace of it has been found

Site of Badenyon Castle
A flat-topped mound just to the east of the present-day Badenyon farm looks as though it may have been where the castle (now disappeared) may have stood. McConnochie in DONSIDE (1900) wrote of it: According to tradition, built by one of the Mowats in the 13th century. John of Badenyon has been rendered famous by a ballad by Rev. John Skinner. Mowat's Stone stood between Glenbucket Lodge and Badenyon; it was, alas, broken up by a mason for building purposes.

From Wanderings in the Highlands 1881

Moving on a little further, and we reach Badenyon, a name no doubt familiar to many musical readers from the well known Strathspey, " John, or Jock o' Badenyon." But there is more about Badenyon of interest to the passer-by. On a little height, close by the door of the present dwelling- house, in byegone days, stood a rude stronghold. The site was pointed out to us by Mr. Michie, a very intelligent man, and one seemingly well versed in the legendary lore of the district. He stated to us that its origin dated from 1590, but, from the description given, we are of opinion that it was of much older date. For example, the masonry was of rough, undressed boulders. Now, in the sixteenth century, it is not likely that a building of any pretensions would be built in that way. Within a stone-throw of it stood another stronghold, but even the site of it is now cultivated land. Yet, with the help of Mr Michie, we could trace the foundation and the moat. A little above Baden yon is the spot where "Thrummy Cap," of superstitious celebrity, is said to have dwelt. But time was pressing we had still a long way to walk, and, however reluctantly, we were forced to say good-bye to Mr Michie, and leave Badenyon and its legends behind us

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd,

In 1866 there were no remains of this castle, once surrounded by a deep fosse, and protected by a tower. Traditionally the house of John O'Badenyon in the 13th century.
In 1898 all that remained of the Castle of Badenyon was a few pieces of sandstone against the wall of an adjacent cottage, and a recessed door inside. The moat was visible as a crop-mark. The castle, shown on a map of 1654, was the old residence of the Gordons of Glenbuchat until Glenbuchat Castle (NJ31SE 4) was built in AD 1590.
Aberdeen J Notes and Queries 1912; W D Simpson 1942.

The symbol denoting the site of the castle on both the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Aberdeenshire, 1903, sheet l) and the 1975 edition of the OS 1:10,000 map lies about 20m SW of the easterly cottage at Badenyon (NJ31NW 16) and coincides with the upper section of a steep, grassy scarp that juts out into the floodplain of the Water of Buchat. However, although the ground surface immediately to the S of that cottage and on the slope of the scarp is much disturbed, the amorphous hollows, hummocks, fragmentary trackways and building-platforms hereabouts do not seem to indicate the remains of a tower or larger castle. One of the building-platforms retains the NW corner of a building which is depicted as roofed on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Aberdeenshire, 1869, sheet l) and it is likely that the rest of the features are connected with the farmstead and are of relatively recent origin.
Although 20th century scholarship is consistent in identifying the location of the castle with the site marked by the antiquity symbol on the later edition of the OS map, the 1st edition OS map places it about 120m to the ESE, near the S corner of a field (NJ 3424 1896). No trace of any structure is visible there, although vegetation marks have been observed in the vicinity on vertical aerial photographs held by Aberdeenshire Council (see NJ31NW 5). They do not appear to indicate the site of a tower either.

Picture added on 24 February 2010 at 22:39
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