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Amongst the Ruins of Slains Castle - Is there a future for Scotland's 'Dracula Castle'?

Part 1 Dissertation 2015
Andrew McBride
University of Strathclyde | UK
The ruins of the unlisted Slains Castle, built in the 16th century, expanded multiple times thereafter, stand like a jagged shadow against the rugged landscape of sea caves and mottled coastal terrain of north-east Scotland. Known by some as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, the ruin still attracts visitors. Its foreboding silhouette perched against the cliff edge lures many coastal wanderers to explore its collapsed corridors and vegetated courtyards and towers.

Proposals for the restoration of the entire building into thirty-five flats were confirmed in 2007, yet the project is currently on hold. With such a pause, the question at hand is whether this proposal is the right way for Slains castle to survive.

This dissertation will aim to understand the situation that this interesting, but often overlooked ruin finds itself in. The current proposals for the restoration of Slains castle will be discussed, and with reference to theories of conservation and cultural heritage, will be compared to other potential approaches and international guidelines to the conservation of ruins, with the aim of opening up a discussion on how ruins are interpreted, and how creative architectural responses can project our ruins into the future.

Andrew McBride

Cristina Gonzalez-Longo
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