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Love to read the clan histories cousin. keep up the good work. Here is a little blurb about the Gordon origins, if I may.

HISTORY OF THE HOUSE OF GORDON "...In the year 1040, Duncan I., King of Scotland was defeated and slain near Elgin by Maclbeatha (Shakespear's Macbeth)...The son of Duncan, Malcolm Canmore fled to England and was received at the court of Edward the Confessor where he lived for some fifteen years.....one of the most powerful lords, Duff, Thane of Fife, went to England and persuaded Malcolm to make an effort to regain the throne. Edward the Confessor granted Malcolm the aid of some ten thousand men under Siefried, Earl of Northumberland, and with these and some French and Norman knights then at the English Court, Malcolm marched into Scotland. Eventually he met Maclbeatha at Lumphanan, some twenty miles west of Aberdeen, when the usurper was defeated and slain in 1057. It was in this manner that the Gordons first came into Scotland, for among the foreign knights who accompanied Malcolm was ADAM DE GORDUN who, for his services in aiding Malcolm to regain the throne, was granted lands near the lower Tweed, and these lands were called Gordon after his name. We hear no more of Adam till 1093 when Malcolm Canmore invaded England and was defeated and killed near Alnwick. Among the slain was Adam who left a son - Adam de Gordun II."

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just a note. this was originally posted under Raptor's Laurie, Sept of Gordon topic, but I felt it should have it's own home.

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A footnote: The Gordons began as a Norman (French-settled Viking) family from Burgundy, originally a Celtic nation, & it's been long theorised that the name originated from the phrase "Gour-dun" or "the fort/place on the hill".

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After Turpin's great start regarding the origins of the Clan Gordon, I thought I'd take up the story of the clan. It's hard for a member of a clan to write without sounding biased, but I hope I've given a balanced account. Because the Gordon family did not start as a "clan", it is often referred to as the House of Gordon, a name more tied to its Norman descent. While the family organization in Scotland calls itself the "House of Gordon", most publications use the more common "Clan Gordon" as does the book "Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia" considered the authority. Some Gordons, like myself, use the term Clan Gordon while others use House of Gordon out of personal preference. While Clan Gordon is certainly the most common term used, both Clan and House are truly synonymous and either term is proper.

Although described variously as Highland Catholic, Lowland Presbyterian, or even Jewish in some cases, the clan is rather broadly Episcopalian and varies by individual branches or even persons.

During the Wars of Scottish Independence Clan Gordon was one of the first of the noble families to support The Wallace. After his betrayal to the English by the Stuarts, they supported Robert the Bruce and fought at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. Clan Chief Sir John Gordon was killed leading the clan at the Battle of Otterburn, where the English were defeated in 1388.

The Clan Gordon was, by the 1500's, one of the most powerful clans in middle Scotland, at one point controlling as much as 80% of the entire nation. Clan feuds and battles were frequent, especially with the Clan Cameron, Clan Murray, Clan Forbes and the Chattan Confederation. Always a warrior clan, the Gordons have been described as "predatory", "vicious", & other less savoury epithets, but I believe that harsh lands & conditions breed hard people, & whatever the cause, it is undeniable that the members & septs of Clan Gordon were, & are to this day, fiercely proud & loyal to both their clan & chief. If ever there was a power struggle in Scotland, it was between the two great clans of Gordon & Campbell. A big factor in this ongoing struggle was probably the fact that these two clans alone had the plains & areas neccessary to breed horses, rather than the wiry highland ponies. This made it possible for both clans to field cavalry. With the Gordons dominating the east coast & the Campbells the west, butting heads became inevitable.

* Clan Chief Sir Adam Gordon was killed leading the clan at the Battle of Homildon Hill, also known as the Battle of Humbleton Hill on 14th September 1402. On September 14, 1402, a Scottish army was returning from a pillaging expedition in the English county of Northumberland. The chief left his only child, a daughter named Elizabeth Gordon who married Alexander Seton, who was the son of Sir William Seton the chief of Clan Seton.

* The Gordons fought at the Battle of Arbroath in 1445 where Patrick Gordon of Methlic was slain. Patrick Gordon was from the branch of the Gordons of Haddo, which has for its head the Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair. This branch claims to represent the original house of Gordon in the male line, by descent from Gordon of Coldingknowes. The Gordons fought alongside men from the Clan Ogilvy, Clan Oliphant, Clan Seton and Clan Forbes of Pitsligo. They fought against an army of over 1000 men from the Clan Lindsay under the Master of Crawford. The Master's father the Earl of Crawford rode in between the two armies in an attempt to call a truce. However, an illadvised Ogilvie, thinking that this was the start of the Lindsay's attack, threw his spear at the Earl, hitting him in the mouth and killing him instantly. So the battle began which went in the Clan Lindsay's favour. Here fell Ogilvie of Inverquharty, Forbes of Pitsligo, Brucklay of Gartley, Gordon of Borrowfield, and Oliphant of Aberdalgie, along with 500 or so Ogilvie's. However, the Lindsays lost a disproportionate amount of men, most notably the Earl himself.

* Huntly Castle 1449; The Gordons defeated the Clan Douglas who had invaded their lands. The Douglases were enemies of the King. The Gordons stood on the king’s side, and with their men involved in the south of the country, the Earl of Moray, a relation and ally of the Douglases, took the opportunity to sack the Gordon lands, setting Huntly Castle ablaze. The Gordons returned and quickly destroyed their enemies. Although the castle was burned to the ground, a grander castle was built in its place. Ironically, DNA research has now shown the Douglasses to have originated as Gordons in the first place.

* In 1449 the eldest son of Elizabeth Gordon and Alexander Seton, who was also named Alexander was made chief, Lord of Gordon and Huntly. However, his male heirs through his third wife Elizabeth Crichton were obliged to bear the name of Gordon to succeed as chiefs of the clan.

* Chief of Clan Lindsay Alexander Lindsay, the 4th Earl of Crawford, also known as the Tiger Earl and Earl Beardie was badly defeated by the Clan Gordon and Clan Ogilvy under the Earl of Huntly at Brechin in 1452.

* The Gordons fought at the Battle of the Western Isles in 1505.

* 1520 saw the peak of the feud with Clan Forbes. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Clan was engaged in a long feud against Clan Forbes. The feud which had been carried on for a long time reached a climax in the 1520s with murders committed by both sides occurring constantly. One of the most prominent of those killed by the Forbes action, Seton of Meldrum, was a close connection of the chief of the Gordons, the Earl of Huntly. The Earl of Huntly soon became involved in a plot aimed at the Master of Forbes (son of John, the 6th Lord Forbes), who was heavily implicated in the Seton murder.

* In 1522 Alexander Gordon (the Countess of Sutherland's eldest son) overthrew John Mackay of Strathnaver at Lairg, and forced him to submit himself to the Countess's husband, Adam Gordon, resulting in the pledge of Clan MacKay's loyalty to the Gordons.

* In 1526 the title of Earl of Sutherland and chieftenship of the Clan Sutherland passed by right of marriage to Adam Gordon who was a younger son of the chief of Clan Gordon.

* In 1536 Chief of Gordons, the Earl of Huntly accused the Master of Forbes of conspiring to assassinate King James V of Scotland while visiting Aberdeen by shooting at him with a cannon. The Master of Forbes was tried and executed, but within days his sentence was revoked and the Clan Forbes family restored to favour. However the damage to relations between the Clan Forbes and Clan Gordon was irreparable. Attacks by each family and their supporters were carried out more or less continuously throughout the remainder of the century, reducing Aberdeenshire to an unparalleled state of lawlessness.

* During the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Gordon, under George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly defeated an English army at the Battle of Haddon Rig in 1542.

* Later during the Anglo-Scottish Wars the Clan Gordon fought in the Scottish army which was defeated at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547.

* On the 13th of December 1545, at Dingwall, the Earl of Sutherland entered into a bond of manrent with John Mackenzie of Kintail for mutual defence against all enemies, reserving only their allegiance to their youthful Queen, Mary Stuart

* Inverness Castle 1562; In 1562 while visiting Inverness the Princess who would later become Mary Queen of Scots was refused admission into Inverness Castle by the governor of the Castle who was a Gordon. The Clan Munro and Clan Fraser wishing to support Mary took Inverness Castle for her. Mary then hanged the Gordon who had refused her admission.

* Corriche 1562, The Battle of Corrichie took place around Meikle Tap in 1562, between George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly and James Stuart, the new Earl of Moray (half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots). Gordon was killed and his son, Sir John, and other members of his family were later executed at Aberdeen.

* 1571, Feud with Clan Forbes, continued: During the 15th and 16th centuries the Clan was engaged in a long and bitter struggle against the Clan Forbes. By 1571 the feud had got to the point where other clans began taking sides. The Clan Leslie, Clan Irvine and Clan Seton who had their own feuds with the Forbeses joined forces with Clan Gordon. However opponents of the Gordons such as Clan Keith, Clan Fraser and Clan Crichton joined forces with Clan Forbes. The feud culminated in two full scale battles in 1571; The Battle of Tillieangus and the Battle of Craibstone. It was at the Battle of Tillieangus that the 6th Lord Forbes's youngest son known as Black Aurther Forbes was killed. Legend has it that "he stooped down to quench his thirst and one of the Gordons gave him his death blow through an open joint in his armour".

* 1571, The Castle Druminnor, then Lord Forbes's seat, was itself plundered and sacked and in the same month the Gordons followed this up by the atrocious massacre of 27 Forbeses of Towie at Corgarff. Two acts of Parliament (the second of which involved a direct order from the king) were required to force the clans to lay down their arms but the struggle had drawn the Forbeses deep into debt making it necessary for them to sell much of their land.

* At the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594 the Earl of Argyll's forces which consisted of Clan Campbell, Clan Stewart of Atholl, Clan Forbes and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh were defeated by the Earl of Huntly's forces which consisted of Clan Gordon, Clan Comyn/###### and Clan Cameron. It was ats a result of this battle that the Earl of Huntly gained the enduring nickname "The Cock O' The North".

* Between 1615 and 1616 there appears to have been a disagreement of some sort between the Gordons and the neighboring Clan Leask. In all the recorded cases the Gordons appear to have been the aggressors; Adam Gordon, brother of the Laird of Gight assaulted Alexander Leask, then the son of the chief was attacked by George Gordon and finally William Leask was ambushed by John Gordon of Ardlogy and a party of armed men.

* In 1644 Alexander Bannerman of Pitmedden fought a duel with his cousin, Sir George Gordon of Haddo, and wounded him.

* During the Civil War at the Battle of Aberdeen in 1644 there were Gordons on both sides. Lord Lewis Gordon led his forces on the side of the Covenanters while Sir Nathaniel Gordon led his forces in support of the Royalists.

* During the Civil War cavalry from the Clan Gordon fought in support of the Royalist James Graham the 1st Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Auldearn where they helped defeat the Covenanters of Lord Seaforth who was the chief of Clan MacKenzie. The battle took place on the 9th May 1645.

* During the Civil War the Clan Gordon fought at the Battle of Alford in 1645. They were victorious, led by George Gordon, 2nd Marquess of Huntly fighting under James Graham the 1st Marquess of Montrose. The Marquess of Huntly's eldest son George Gordon fell at this battle.

* 1645, Lewis Gordon, clan chief and 3rd Marquess of Huntly of the Clan Gordon attacked and burned down Brodie Castle of the Clan Brodie. This was part of the Covenanting conflict during the Civil War

* 1682, A fight over cattle and land with the southern Scottish family the MacCulloch's of Myreton. Following the fatal fight, Sir Godfrey Macculloch fled the country for a time, but returned, only to be apprehended and executed in 1697.

In the early 17th century Clan Gordon had a number of alliances by marriage or friendship. Among these was a strong bond to the Clan Burnett of Leys. The Gordon crest is emblazoned in plasterwork on the ceiling of the early 17th century great hall of Muchalls Castle built by Alexander Burnett.

During the Jacobite Uprisings of 1715 - 1716 and 1745 - 1746 there were Gordons on both sides. The 2nd Duke of Gordon followed the Jacobites in 1715, but Cosmo Gordon, 3rd Duke of Gordon supported the British government by the time of the 1745 uprising. While his brother, Lord Lewis Gordon raised two regiments against him at the Battle of Inverurie (1745), the Battle of Falkirk (1746) and the Battle of Culloden (1746). Today, Culloden moor is a major tourist destination, & stones mark where the clansmen involed were buried in mass graves for each clan. Interestingly, the grave marker for Clan Gordon is right at the front, in close proximity to where military strategists have estimated the British cannons to have been sited.

Gordon castles

* Huntly Castle was the seat of the chief of Clan Gordon from at least the 14th century until the late 17th century.

* Balmoral Castle was sold to Alexander Gordon, the 3rd Earl of Huntly, in the 15th century.

* Auchindoun Castle was awarded to the Marquis of Huntly in 1535.

* Gordon Castle was built in 1789 for the 4th Duke of Gordon, becoming the new seat for the chief of Clan Gordon.

* Fyvie Castle was owned by several Gordons between the 18th and 19th century.

Clan profile

* Gaelic Names: Gordan (Surname), Gordanach (Singular), Na Gordanaich (Collective).

* Motto: Bydand (Steadfast, Abiding)

* Motto: Do Well and Let Them Say ...A Gordon

* Motto: Animo non Astutia (By Courage not Craft)

* Slogan: "An Gordanach! An Gordanach!"

* Pipe Music: "The Gordon's March"

* Plant Badge: Rock Ivy

Clan Gordon has several recognized tartans:

* Gordon (Modern)

* Gordon (Dress)

* Gordon (Ancient)

* Gordon (Weathered)

* Gordon (Muted)

* Gordon (Red)

The Gordon Modern tartan was used by The Gordon Highlanders, (now The Highlanders (4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland)) and is sometimes referred to as "Military". The tartan itself is based on the Black Watch military tartan with an additional yellow stripe. The difference between the family sett (modern) and military sett is only in the pleating of the kilt. The military pleat to the stripe, showing a series of stripes across the back of the kilt. The family sett is pleated to the sett, showing the repeat of the pattern in its entirety across the back of the kilt. The Red Gordon tartan is sometimes referred to as "Huntly".

The Gordon Modern tartan was used for many years as the troop tartan for the 10th Finchley (Scottish) Scout Group, London.

Clan chief & arms

* The current Chief of Clan Gordon is Granville Charles Gomer Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly

* Arms: Quarterly, 1st Azure, three boars’ heads couped Or, Proper langued Gules (for Gordon), 2nd, Or three lions heads erased Gules langued Azure (for Lordship of Badenoch), 3rd, Or, 3 crescents within a Royal Tressure, flory counter flory, Gules (for Seton), 4th, Azure three fraises Argent (for Fraser, acquisition of the Aboyne lands)

Clan branches

* Gordon of Haddo

* Gordon of Lochinvar

* Gordon of Strathbogie

* Gordon of Gight (now extinct)

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In my ongoing project to contact members of the far-flung Stephen family and produce a tartan, I have received an email from yet another cousin I haven't met who wrote that my great grandfather "...always maintained that we were Gordons." I remembered reading this thread some time ago, and came back to read it again. Mention of Aberdeen is tantalizing. The Stephens are first recorded as landing off Aberdeen in 1010 AD. The thought that the Gordons may have had connections with the Norse crossed my mind, since there was a lot of contact between Scandinavia and France a thousand years ago. The longest standing clan connection I can find is with the Mathesons [the ones in my mother's family all spelled their names "Mathieson"].

Does anyone have any ideas as to whether there might have been a Gordon connection with the Mathesons?

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Remember that the Gordon connection may have been by marriage.

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Remember that the Gordon connection may have been by marriage.

Yes, that's what I expect I'll find when I start going back through the family tree. Even in relatively modern times, the same names intersect repeatedly. Of course, it's hard to assess the significance of surname connections within the last two hundred years. Obviously, my great grandfather's memory would have extended beyond that.

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Your greatgrandfather's memory is likely to go back at least to his grandparents and stories may go back farther. My mother used to tell stories about Mary Gordon and her father the Rev. John Churchill Gordon. So we're talking about her greatgrandmother and 2nd greatgrandfather.

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Your greatgrandfather's memory is likely to go back at least to his grandparents and stories may go back farther. My mother used to tell stories about Mary Gordon and her father the Rev. John Churchill Gordon. So we're talking about her greatgrandmother and 2nd greatgrandfather.

You're right.

I guess I should see if I can find the thread count for the Gordon tartan. Perhaps a blend of Gordon and Matheson might produce an interesting pattern. I really like the weathered Gordon. I'd wear that. Gee, it appears that I can wear that!

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The weathered (muted) Gordon is probably my all-time favourite tartan. Realistically you can wear any tartan you like, but it's nice to have that connection there....

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The weathered (muted) Gordon is probably my all-time favourite tartan. Realistically you can wear any tartan you like, but it's nice to have that connection there....

You realize of course that you could be contributing to an addiction....

My "must have" list now includes:

Freedom kilt--Hudson's Bay tartan

R Kilts--type undecided

AlphaKilt--at least one more....

[kiltmaker not yet selected]--personal tartan [in development]

[ " " " " ]--weathered Gordon

...to say nothing of the allure of a double box pleat.... :drool:

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You realize of course that you could be contributing to an addiction....

My "must have" list now includes:

Freedom kilt--Hudson's Bay tartan

R Kilts--type undecided

AlphaKilt--at least one more....

[kiltmaker not yet selected]--personal tartan [in development]

[ " " " " ]--weathered Gordon

...to say nothing of the allure of a double box pleat.... :drool:

Have you seen the kingussie pleat and the reverse kingussie? More items for a jones list.

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Hey Raptor, in looking for my family tartan, I found out that Craigs are also a Sept clan of the Gordons. Do you know if this is true or not? :huh:

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My mom descended from the Gordons, and I do like that tartan a bit better than the MacDonald tartan, which happens to be my dad's family tartan. Gordon (standard) is the only tartan I have 2 kilts of.

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Hey Raptor, in looking for my family tartan, I found out that Craigs are also a Sept clan of the Gordons. Do you know if this is true or not? :huh:

All I've been able to find out is that the name Craig emerged as a Clan and developed in their original territories of Aberdeen where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity, seated at Craigfintray Castle in Kildrummie in that Shire. This Northern Clan is frequently associated with the Gordons, but their first records appear in Ayershire and Lanarkshire to the south about 1180. They also are apparently of Pictish descent. Hope this helps.

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The weathered (muted) Gordon is probably my all-time favourite tartan. Realistically you <i><u>can</u></i> wear any tartan you like, but it's nice to have that connection there....

That is my favorite as well.

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Hey cousins! My 5great grandfather James Gorden Jr, came over from Leeds. He was born in 1751 and came over to the U.S. with Burgoyne's Expidition, then switched sides and served as a private in the New Hampshire Line during the Revolutinary War. My 2great Grandmother, Ellen Gordon, came across the prairie in 1866 from Nebraska to Virginia City, Montana - through the heart of Indian Country when tempers were high on both sides. Her wagon train slipped through safely or I'd not be typing this. She wrote home and kept a diary of her journey. The letters and diary are now in a Montana museum and oft quoted since she was one of the few women to record what it was like for a woman to make the journey.

And, here, is a weathered Gordon tartan so folks can see how beautiful the tartan is.

HikingOuray.jpg

House of Gordon tartans are additive. I also have the modern, dress, and red.

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RedGordon.jpg

Here's the Weathered Ancient Red. I also have the Modern, Dress, & Weathered. My next will probably be the Blue, then I need to get myself the Ancient.

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Clan branches

* Gordon of Haddo

* Gordon of Lochinvar

* Gordon of Strathbogie

* Gordon of Gight (now extinct)

You left out Gordon of Esslemont

there is, after all a Gordon of Esslemont tartan...

http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/imageCreation.aspx?ref=1463&width=750&height=750

Except about the tartan:

Gordon of Esslemont in recent research. It was previously listed as 'Ancient Gordon' before the story of its origin came to light. Apparently the Duke of Gordon was offered tartans with one, two, and three stripes when he applied to Forsythe of Huntly to provide kilts for his troops. He chose the single stripe and called in the Heads of the families to choose from the others. Esslemont took the three stripe version.

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Thanks for adding that, Will.

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According to 'The House of Gordon' site, these families are listed as septs of the Gordons:

Adam, Adamson, Addie, Adie, Addison, Aiken, Aitchison, Atkin, Atkins, Atkinson, Badenoch, Barrie, Connor, Connon, Craig, Cromb, Crombie, Cullen, Culane, Darg, Darge, Dorward, Duff, Durward, Eadie, Eddie, Edie, Edison, Esslemont, Garden, Gardiner, Gardner, Garioch, Garrick, Garroick, Geddes, Gerrie, Harrison, Huntley, Huntly, Jessiman, Jopp, Jupp, Laing, Lang, Laurie, Lawrie, Leng, Ling, MacAdam, Mallett, Manteach, Marr, Maver, Meldrum, Mill, Mills, Milles, Miln, Milne, Milner, More, Morrice, Muir, Mylne, Steel, Teal, Tod, Todd, Troup.

There are, of course, a number of spelling variations to each family name over the years as well as some which split into their own clans with remaining alliances with the Gordons.

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The east coasr Muirs also had allegience to Gordon, but the Clan now only recognises one spelling. I think it is Mor but I'm unsure.

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The east coast Muirs also had allegience to Gordon, but the Clan now only recognises one spelling. I think it is Mor but I'm unsure.

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amusing note... I attended services at the local Presbyterian church wearing our clan tartan. While mingling with members of the congregation one lady of obvious Scottish birth (due to the heavy accent) struck up a conversation and upon recognizing the tartan she started to serenade me with "A Gordon For Me".

I was amused, flattered, and slightly disturbed (as she was at least 30 years my senior). Still, all in all it was sweet and I felt a sense of pride in the recognition of our Clan

:KILT:

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Raptor, in addition to the castles mentioned earlier Clan Gordon also claims Aboyne Castle which is the current residence of Alastair Gordon, Earl of Aboyne, son of Granville Charles Gomer Gordon, 13th Marquess of Huntly and Cock of the North.

The Aboyne Castle castle grounds are also home to the family distillery (run by Alastair Gordon) which produces Speyside Single Highland Malt Whisky, Cú Dhub single malt black whisky, and Cock o' the North whisky liqueur made with Speyside single malt whisky and the Scottish blaeberry fruit.

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