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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

New Walk planned for Spynie Palace

Spynie Palace

Spynie Palace to be part of new walkway

An original 'walk' has been created as part of the Moray Walking Festival which will link the cathedral town of Elgin with the palace of the Bishops of Moray at Spynie.

At one time the Spynie Palace was part of a small town situated on a sea loch. This was the harbour of Elgin. The harbour along with the town are long since gone and the loch no longer connected to the sea. Only the tower remains. The intention is to restore the ancient link between city and port in a novel fashion.

In 1812 Thomas Telford, as part of land improvement, was employed to construct a canal to improve drainage and it is this canal which will figure in the new walk.

The plan is to paddle to Spynie by canoe and return by foot - a round trip of around 2 hours.

Spynie Palace (or the 'Castle of Spynie') was the fortified residence of the Bishops of Moray. The site is dominated by a great tower house with its chapel and enclosure, flanked with round corner towers. Such 'castle palaces' are not unusual in Scotland the greatest of which was to be found at Glasgow.

The tower was built by Bishop David Stewart between 1461 and 1476 and was known as 'Davie's Tower'. It was in repair until 1690 when the bishops were deposed. 'No bishops' meant 'no palaces' and so Spynie was allowed to fall into ruin.

In recent years Historic Scotland have undertaken extensive excavations and repairs.

Date posted: 13 Apr 2014Last updated: 05 Dec 2014

(2) Related articles: elgin area - 2006 | spynie palace

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