View of the Barra Castle from Blaeu's Atlas, 1654.
The Castle from Blaeu's Atlas c.1654.
© National Library of Scotland
Mounie Castle, 19th century.
Mounie Castle, late 19th century.
Details from Mounie Castle, 2002.
Details from Mounie Castle, 2002.
The Seton Collection © 2005
Mounie Castle, from the courtyard, 2000.
Mounie Castle, from the courtyard, 2000.
The Seton Collection © 2005
The History of Mounie Castle

This delightful small fortalice, dating from the early 16th century, with an early 17th century square capped circular stair turret projecting westwards, with its main block consisting of two storeys and an attic and crow stepped gables, stands about three miles west of OldMeldrum. 

It conforms to the T-Plan, with a long main block of three storeys running north and south, and a circular stair-tower projecting westwards midway along the west front. This is corbelled out to the square at the top to house a watch-chamber, reached by a turret-stair in the south-west re-entrant angle. 

The corbelling here is quite elaborate.  The waling is otherwise plain and roughcast, and the gables are crow-stepped.  A more modern wing for domestics has been added to the south-west.

The entrance is in the foot of the stair-tower, but two or more modern doorways have been opened on either side of this wets front.  The basement contains two vaulted chambers, that to the south being the kitchen, with a wide arched fireplace and a stone basin nearby.  The Hall on the first floor has been subdivided by later partitions, and there have been other alterations at this level; the small turret-stair, for instance, is now inaccessible.

The lands of Mounie were first owned by Alexander Seton, 4th Laird of Meldrum, which were passed jointly to his two sons during his lifetime: William Seton (who was later 5th Seton Laird of Meldrum); and Alexander Seton, Vicar of Bethelnie and Chancellor of the Diocese of Aberdeen and who was known as Alexander Seton of Mounie. 

The lands passed entirely to John Seton of Lumphart and Broomhill, the second son of William, 5th of Meldrum by his first wife Janet Gordon of Lesmoir, in 1556 by Episcopal Charter and were united under a Charter of the Great Seal dated 1575. 

John Seton married Marjory Patton of Pitmedden during the mid-16th century, and which connection later brought that house into the family to Johnís half-brother, from his fatherís second marriage to Margaret Innes of Leuchars, to James Seton of Bourtie and Pitmedden.  Johnís other half-brother (from Margaret Innes), was George Seton, the noted Chancellor of Aberdeen and builder of Barra Castle. 

However it was John who enlarged and the main house at Mounie during the mid-1500ís.  John Seton died in 1596 and the estate passed to his eldest son, William Seton who later sold the estate after his marriage to Helen Udny, heiress of Udny, and who then became known as William Seton of Udny. 

He sold the estate to John Urquhart of Craigfintray and his wife, Elizabeth Seton of Meldrum (later heiress of the Seton's of Meldrum), and their son Patrick Urquhart inherited the estate.

Patrick Urquhart sold Mounie to Mr. Robert Farquhar in 1636 upon his succession to the estate of Meldrum, who's heirs lost the lands by bankruptcy in 1702, whereby they became temporarily the property of Alexander Hay of Arnbath before being re-acquired by advocate George Seton, 2nd son of Sir Alexander Seton, Bart., Lord Pitmedden, and ancestor of the latter Seton's of Mounie.

The 1st Seton's of Mounie were considered as cadets of Alexander Seton, the famous Earl of Dunfermline and Chancellor of Scotland in the 17th century, as well as proceeding Earls of Dunfermline until their forfeiture in 1690.  However, both the 1st and 2nd families, were lineal cadets of the Seton's of Meldrum. 

There are many Seton portraits and mementos in the house including a picture of John Seton of Auquhorthies, Chamberlain to the Earl of Dunfermline.

John Seton of Auquhorthies, Chamberlain to the Earls of Dunfermline at Fyvie Castle, were cadets of the 1st Mounie family of Seton.  John Seton, goldsmith in Edinburgh of the family of Meldrum who also had a son Thomas Seaton (or Seton) who died and was buried on the Ilse of Man.

Alexander Seaton (or Seton) who attended the University of Aberdeen and who was later a prominent Quaker Minister in Co. Down, Ireland circa 1689 - 1723 along with the Rev'd Anthony Sharp there in Hillsborough, as well as other issue, was descended likewise from these Seton's, and were cousins of James Seton of Menie as well. 

The castle is best known however, from the 2nd Seton's of Mounie family, from George Seton, 2nd son of Lord Pitmedden, and for his descent the famed Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Seton, 5th Baron of Mounie who died so gallantly aboard the HMS Birkenhead in 1852.

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    Mounie Castle History
    Mounie Castle Gallery
        The Expansion
        Floorplan & Drawings
        The Interior
    Dr. J. Anderson Seton
    Lt-Col. Alexander Seton
     Photo: Pictish Stone
     Seton Lake, Canada
     The Mounie Families