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Discover the historic fraud of Duff House Mausoleum
Duff House Mausoleum
Duff House Mausoleum is situated in a woodland setting on the outskirts of Banff

Duff House Mausoleum was built in 1793, a mile or so from the imposing building of Duff House located on the outskirts of Banff.

The mausoleum was built by the second Earl of Fife.

The Earl was anxious to prove that he was descended from an ancient lineage related to the medieval earls of Fife.

The Earl appropriated tombs elsewhere, passing them off as those of his ancestors.

Ancestral ambitions

According to local legend, the mausoleum was also the final resting place of King Robert the Bruce, adding spin to the Earl's noble connections.

In the late 1990s the fictions were finally put to rest with some detective work by Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Scotland. 'Bruce's tomb' was confirmed as belonging to a 17th Century sheriff.

Details from a tombstone in Duff House Mausoleum
A gravestone brought from Banff churchyard to the mausoleum

The second Earl had arranged for the tomb to be moved from the local churchyard after paying the council in gold.

The Earl had also arranged for another tomb belonging to a Duff of Muldavit to be moved from Cullen Old Kirk to the mausoleum, ensuring the lettering and date on the tomb was re-cut to 1404 to suit his ancestral ambitions. This tomb was returned to Cullen in 1965.

Earliest ancestor

The Mausoleum itself now houses the remains of 21 members of the Duff of Duff House family with the earliest ancestor being that of Alexander Duff of Braco who died in 1705 - his remains were moved to the mausoleum from Grange Chuchyard in 1793, along with the first Earl of Fife and his wife.

The Mausoleum is closed to the public but the Friends of Duff House open the ornate building each year in September as part of the 'Doors Open Days' programme.

In Pictures: Duff House Mausoleum
19 Nov 09 |  History

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