A Sad Farewell to Slains Castle Ruins
Cruden Bay Travel Blog› entry 14 of 38 › view all entries
From the ABERDEEN EVENING EXPRESS, 10/12/07:
SLAINS RUIN CLOSED TO VISITORS
12:00 - 12 October 2007
A Historic North-east ruined castle has been closed to the public for the first time since the 1920s.
Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, the reputed inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, has been fenced off ahead of controversial plans to convert it to holiday homes.
The move came after insurers advised new owners Slains Partnership it was no longer safe to allow visitors inside.
The partnership's architect, Huntly-based Douglas Forrest said: "Essentially it came down to the health and safety regulations.
"The ruin is due to become a development site and we can't have people running around inside it.
Stoker was inspired to write his Dracula novel after seeing the fortress on a trip to Cruden Bay. He described as "the castle of the dead."
From the DAILYRECORD.CO.UK 10/13/07:
Dracula Castle Closed Down For Safety Reasons
Oct 13 2007 By Pamela Owen
Safety Fear Over Tourist Spot
THE castle said to have inspired the legend of Dracula has been closed to the public.
Slains Castle, near Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, has become a safety risk to the hundreds of tourists who visit it each year.
Irish author Bram Stoker is said to have written part of his horror tale in 1895 while staying nearby.
The cliff-top fortress, which is believed to have been the inspiration for the vampire's Transylvanian lair, is being fenced off ahead of plans to convert it into holiday homes.
Cruden Community Council chairwoman Kathleen Morrison said: "This really is a sad day. Slains Castle is one of the best attractions the northeast of Scotland has to offer.
"It's a real shame we've lost it so suddenly. Having said that, I understand why they've had to do this.
"I've always been amazed there haven't been more accidents but I suppose that's because local people know the risks."
The 16th-century castle has lain derelict since being sold by the Earl of Errol to pay death duties.
It became a suicide spot in 1999 when three people leapt to their deaths.
Edinburgh firm Slains Partnership have taken over the site and have been advised by insurers that the castle is a serious safety hazard.
Architect Douglas Forest said: "It's always been a dangerous place, on the top of a very steep cliff and if its owner didn't take steps to improve safety, they would be liable for any accidents."
Controversial plans to turn the castle into 35 luxury holiday homes were approved last year.