George Gordon bought the lands
from the Earl of Huntly in 1545 but
we are told "the said George builded
the house of Beldorney and dyed".
Since his death occurred in 1575,
Beldorney is one of the first examples
of a Z plan fortalice in the North East.
It consists of a main block with a
smaller square tower and a large
drum tower with an unusual rounded
gable at the south east angle. The
hall had a painted ceiling fragments of which survive. Two wings were built to the
west in 1679 enclosing a courtyard entered through an arched gateway which
carries on its inner side the date and initials of John Gordon and Anne , his wife.
During its restoration more early wall paintings were discovered including a
compostition of a woman in early 16th century dress playing the lute. Other floors
were remodelled in 1890 under the supervision of Alexander Marshall MacKenzie.
Further restoration took place in the early 1980's.
Beldorney is the original home of the Wardhouse Gordons. In 1762 they inherited
Wardhouse and in 1777 they sold Beldorney. Links with Spain had been forged
before the family left Beldorney, but during the Wardhouse years they became, and
still are known as, 'the Spanish Gordons'.
The Beldorney Estate lies in the beautiful valley of the Deveron in the parish of
Glass, about seven miles west of Huntly. The first Gordon of Beldorney was George,
son of Adam Dean of Caithness, who was the 3rd son of the 1st Earl of Huntly; Adam
died in 1528. George 1st Laird of Beldorney, got a charter of the lands in 1560; the
castle was built while he was laird - a Z-plan mansion with a massive circular tower at
the south-east and a square tower at the north-west. He was succeeded by his elder
son Alexander 2nd Laird of Beldorney in 1578, then Alexander's eldest son George
3rd Laird of Beldorney in 1627; Alexander's second son Alexander of Killihuntly
(Badenoch) was known as 'Sandy Mor', the ancestor of the later lairds of Beldorney
and the Gordons of Wardhouse.