A recent minor landslip at Old Slains Castle, for centuries the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Hay, revealed a polished and intricately carved piece of marble which has been identified as coming from the interior of the old tower.
The stone is very dense and extremely heavy. Nothing like it is found locally, so it must have been imported at considerable cost, indicating that the early Hay chiefs went to some expense to ensure the grandeur of their surroundings reflected the grandeur of their family.
Almost nothing remains of the old castle of Slains, which was destroyed by King James VI in 1594 after the ninth Earl of Erroll, a leading member of the Catholic faction, led a rebellion against the Protestant ascendancy in Scotland. Only one wall of the keep still stands, as the ruins were for centuries pillaged to build barns and farmhouses.
It is believed this find, probably part of a fireplace or cornice, is the only surviving evidence of the castle's interior.