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Copyright ©1999-2006
C.Garner and P.Wright

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Spynie Palace

July 14, 1999
Near Elgin, Moray
Map Ref: NJ 231 658

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[Grampian Region]
Spynie Palace

Spynie Palace was built as a residence for the Bishops of Moray. The cathedral that accompanied the palace has not survived the tests of time. The existing ruins date from the early 1400's and the later 1700's. The original residence was built in 1207 after Bishop Brice obtained approval from the pope to establish a cathedra, Holy Trinity at Spynie.

The tower in it's present state is the combination of early construction and 16th century reconstruction. It has been dubbed David's Tower for Bishop David Stewart. He used the tower as his private residence. The surrounding ranges contained the hall, kitchens and residential areas for supporting the palace.


The palace has been a key figure in several political arenas. Monarchs would stop and use this palace as their residence. The struggle for religion, Catholic vs. Presbyterian, played a big part between early 1500's and late 1600's. Spynie has passed through several hands and families.

Spynie fell into disrepair after 1689. It passed to the state and in 1825, the Barons of Exchequer began care for Spynie. In 1838, they sold the land to the trustees of the Earl of Fife for upkeep. The ruins were returned to the state in 1973.

Spynie Palace: Corbel Spynie Palace: Courtyard
A corbel in the great hall View from the top of David's Tower