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Corse Castle 

Corse Castle is now ruined but was a Forbes fortress and center of a landed estate in the northeast of Scotland.

A younger son of the 2nd Lord Forbes, Patrick Forbes was brother of William, 3rd Lord Forbes, and armor-bearer to James III. In 1476, the King granted Patrick a charter for the Barony of O’Neil and Corse. His son David, also known as “Trail the Axe,” succeeded him as the 2nd Lord of Corse, and passed on land and title to his son Patrick Forbes, 3rd of Corse. His son William succeeded as 4th Lord in 1568 and married Elizabeth, daughter of John Strachan of Thornton.

Around 1574, Clan Gordon raided and damaged the Forbes home at Corse, as they did many Forbes properties at that time. In 1581 Sir William Forbes started building a new fortified stronghold and, in 1584, is reputed to have said of his new castle: "Please God I will build me such a house as thieves will need to knock at ere they enter."

The castle includes a stone above the doorway with the initials WF for William Forbes, the date 1581, and the initials ES for his wife Elizabeth Strachan.

William Forbes had seven sons, of whom the eldest, Patrick (1564–1635), was born at the castle before the rebuilding. In 1618 he was appointed Bishop of Aberdeen, serving until his death.

The second son, William, a merchant, purchased the nearby unfinished Mortimer castle of Craigievar and completed the building in the 1620s and founded the line of Forbeses of Craigievar.


The third son John Forbes (c.1565–1634) also entered the church. The sixth son, Arthur, was given land in Ireland, became the first Forbes Baronet, and built Forbes Castle in Longford County, Ireland.

Patrick's second son, theologian John Forbes (1593–1648), inherited Corse in 1635, and died there in 1648, having opposed the National Covenant and been exiled for three years.

The castle was abandoned in the mid-19th century when a more modern mansion house was completed.

On the death of James Ochoncar Forbes in 1900, the estate was inherited by his son John Walter Forbes, who died unmarried in 1912, and then by his younger son Lieutenant Colonel James Ochoncar Forbes (1867 - 1945), who was a Deputy Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire. His son Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Walter Forbes (1914 - 1979) was a regular soldier commissioned into the Gordon Highlanders in 1935. He was later appointed a knight of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and as Deputy Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire.


The current owner is his son, Major Andrew Iain Ochoncar Forbes (born 1945), 13th Baronet of Craigievar, Aberdeenshire and of Corse. He married Jane Elizabeth Dunbar-Nasmith, daughter of Rear-Admiral David Arthur Dunbar-Nasmith and Elizabeth Gwendoline Bowlby, in 1984.


He gained the rank of Major in the Gordon Highlanders and now resides near Corse Castle at Winds’eye Farm.



The current owner is Sir Andrew Iain Ochoncar Forbes, 13th Baronet, of Winds'eye Farm, left, with Clan Forbes Society President Bart Forbes on the right.

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