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main image Motte and bailey, Duffus Castle, Moray
The site dates from the mid-12th century, and may be related to King David I's colonisation of Moray with Norman nobles. The 'motte' is the higher earthen mound and the 'bailey' the larger, lower one. Beyond the bailey was a water ditch.

In the late 13th century, the castle was held by a supporter of the King Edward I of England. It was burnt and rebuilt by Scots patriots in 1297.

Further buildings date from after the sacking of the castle in 1452. It was finally abandoned in the late 17th century, in favour of Duffus House. Mottes – with or without baileys – are characteristic of areas colonised, and dominated, by Normans.

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