Rothiemay: Avochie Castle

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"Byde together"

Gordon of Avochie motto.

Avochie Castle

The ruins of the small 17th. century towerhouse of Avochie stands on the hillside overlooking the straths of Deveron and Isla. Originally the house had two storeys with attics with two opposite corner turrets or bartizans.

Avochie Castle

In 1452 the lands of Avochie in Strathbogie were bestowed on Sir William Leslie by the Earl of Huntly -  they were resigned by Sir John Lesley and again returned to the Gordons in 1588.

John Gordon of Avochie fought at the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594 under the Earl of Huntly who with a force of 2,000 local men, routed 10,000 highlanders commanded by the protestant Earl of Argyll.

John Gordon of Auchannachie inherited Avochie in 1622.

Harry Gordon of Avochie was in the Scots Greys during the Marlborough Wars until 1714. On his return home he joined the rebellion of 1715 but was taken prisoner at Preston, and banished to the plantations.  He returned about two years later, married a daughter of George Gordon of Buckie, and died in 1754.

His son John Gordon of Avochie, while still a young man, was active in the '45. He recruited a number of local men to support the cause and was made colonel of his own battalion, becoming a right hand man of Lord Lewis Gordon. At the skirmish at Inverurie he played a large part in defeating the Macleods and other Hanoverian troops, and at Culloden his men held their ground in the face of the onslaught.

After the defeat he escaped back to Aberdeenshire and managed to evade capture for a period even though he was sometimes seen openly travelling about the area. For a while he is supposed to have hidden in the stair of the old house - it is probable that the tall gaunt ruin that we see today is what was left after it was burned by Government troops.

In spite of several petitions for clemency, John Gordon's name was omitted from the Act of Indemnity of 1747. A bill of High Treason was found against him in 1748, and around that time he escaped to France where he stayed until around 1763. His returned to Avochie was apparently made possible with the aid of his wife Mary, only child of Peter Gordon of Ardmealie, who helped pay the £500 fine to mitigate for his "Jacobite tendencies."