Deskford Visitor Information Guide
This is a parish and a small village in Moray, formerly in Banffshire, it comprises extensive farmland and hamlets, Historic harbours, quiet sandy beaches, ancient castle, and a historic cliff-top castle with a turbulent history. Deskford was the family seat of the earls of Findlatcr and Seaﬁeld, the Castle or Tower was built in the late 14th Century by the Sinclairs of Findlater and Deskford, a branch of the St. Clairs of Roslyn near Edinburgh.
The last of this line, Sir John Sinclair, resided in Findlater Castle on the cliff tops until tragedy struck. His only son fell from the arms of his nurse and was dashed to death on the rocks below. The nurse, we are told, in her grief, threw herself to the same fate.
The family moved inland to Deskford Castle, but further tragedy awaited them. In 1411, Sir John Sinclair was killed at the battle of Harlaw, leaving no male heir.
The estates of Deskford and Findlater were inherited by his eldest daughter, Margaret, who married Sir William Ogilvie in 1437, thus bringing to an end the Sinclair line and sowing the seed of the Seafield dynastay.
- Deskford Postcode AB56
- Deskford Latitude: 57.6405° N Longitude: 2.8428° W
- Deskford WOEID 25459
Deskford is 4 miles inland from Cullen, surrounded by low hills rising to 1.000 ft on either side, and is now purely agricultural, but in the 18th cent. it was humming from end to end with the linen-spinning industry launched by James, 5th Earl of Findlater, which resulted in the building of two picturesque villages at the lower end of the strath Lintmill and Tochieneal.
The shell of Deskford Church, also known as St John's Church, stands in Kirktown of Deskford, a small settlement just off the B9108 some four miles south of A minor road loops through the village with a attractive collection of houses and cottages, bracing coastal walks, with crashing waves on rugged rocks,you can watch seabirds dodge the rising tide, long golden sandy beaches and little picturesque harbours, from the 17th century Portsoy harbour you are within minutes of open country, enjoying fine views, looking out for butterflies fluttering over the purple heather on higher ground.
Head towards the village and relax on the triangle of grass overlooking the harbour and the sea. This is a fine spot to watch fishing boats chugging along the Moray coast, a reminder of the busy times on which these harbour towns were built. The area offers Hotels luxury and budget B&B and Guest Houses as well as self catering holiday accommodation.
A number of significant historical and archaeological remains have been found in the area, notably the remains of a carnyx, a type of bronze trumpet.
The Deskford Carnyx, which was discovered around 1816, it is a masterpiece of early Celtic art, shaped to resemble a wild boar with its upturned snout and decoration mirroring the folds of skin around a boar’s face.
It is a complex composite construction, wrought from sheet bronze and brass, a wind instrument of the Iron Age Celts, used between c. 200 BC and c. AD 200.you can find the artefact in the National Museum of Scotland.