Region : Fife
Location : Wemyss
Details : It is thought that a castle may have been built here by the MacDuffs of Fife in the 11th century. Edward I visited here in 1304, staying with MacDuff’s descendant, Michael Wemyss. However Edward later ordered the castle to be destroyed.
The present castle therefore was built by the Wemyss family in the 14th century, it passed to the Livingstones and then in 1530 it was taken over by the Colvilles who built a second tower in the south-west corner and an enclosed courtyard. It is that second tower which still survives.
Its present ruinous state is not just due to the fact that it has been unoccupied for several hundred years but that the sandstone has weathered very badly. The Castle is now owned by Historic Scotland
Paranormal Phenomena : The castle is supposedly haunted by a “Grey Lady”, said to be a Mary Sibbald who was found guilty of theft and died in the castle. Other accounts state that she regularly appears in the Court cave and at Macduff Castle, dressed in a white flowing robe.
Mary’s trial would be held in the Court cave, the Wemyss ancient courtroom. Mary was sentenced to 20 lashes of the whip and as she was beaten she collapsed and died, proclaiming her innosence. Her ghost appeared for the first time only hours after her death.
Her Ghost appeared to King James the sixth when he was a guest at Macduff Castle, for as he was out galloping on the moors when he heard the roar of a crowd coming from the caves. As he galloped towards the noise he could see people running from the Court cave. The King dismounted and hurried to the entrance of the cave. There he saw the white figure of Mary Sibbald floating close to the ground. She appeared to be searching for something or someone and she vanished as she approached the entrance to the cave.
The Castle is also said to be haunted by the ghost of an unknown Green Lady. She is said to usually appear as a tall slim apparition who glides around the castle, and has been given the nickname ‘Green Jean’. She is recorded as having been seen by Lady Millicent Wemyss, and the story was recorded in the memoirs of her sister, the Countess of Munster.