Ecclesgreig Castle occupies a commanding position on a hill top northwest of St Cyrus.
References to a building on the site, originally known as Criggie, date back to 1357. Since that time ownership has passed between a number of different family Clans: the Grays until 1541; the Strattons of Lauriston until 1615; the Grahams of Morphie until 1686; the Burnetts, the Scotts, the Lows, then the Grants in 1825.
When the Grants took over ownership of the castle they initially changed its name to Mount Cyrus. In 1825 there are references to a Davina Grant of Mount Cyrus and a year later a Fredrick Grant being at the property.
In 1843 the castle was inherited by the Forsyth-Grants who changed the castle’s name again to Ecclesgreig.
In 1846 the current castle was built in the Victoria Gothic style, a design by Edmund Goodridge.
The castle’s claim to fame is that Bram Stoker who was in the local area writing the novel “Dracula” is said to have visited the castle.
During the Second World War, large properties like castles became the subject of high taxation. This meant they became very expensive to maintain. A tactic at the time for large buildings was to remove the roof, thereby proving that it was not in use and so avoid the high taxes. The Forsyth-Grant lairds at the time decided on a different tactic retaining the roof but removing the internal floor and calling the property a large grain store and not subject to the high taxation.
This tactic saved the building for a time, however eventually high maintenance costs meant the castle was eventually sold, initially to a property developer and then to Farquhar Estates Ltd who have restored parts of the castle.