The site of Red Castle was a favourite hunting estate of King William the Lion in the late 12th century, very close to his famous foundation of Arbroath Abbey. This king gave the site to Sir Walter de Berkeley (or Barclay), in 1194. Berkeley had been Chamberlain of Scotland from 1171 to 1191. A fairly implausible folk legend set down in Victorian times states that Sir Walter wanted to acquire a giant to be his servant, but he could not find anyone large enough in Scotland. Someone told him that there were many men of enormous height in Sweden, so he set sail for that country immediately. On his way to Stockholm the Scottish knight slaughtered a gang of pirates who tried to board his ship. But Sweden was a disappointment to him, full of men no bigger than they were back home. Just before he departed he attended a tournament and there he happily encountered a ten-foot man named Daniel Cajanus who was entertaining the crowd by wrestling with two normal sized men. The Scot swiftly acquired the giant's services and also employed his friend, Linicus Calvus, a three-foot Danish dwarf whose father had been a Greek orator.
The Swedish giant made an immediate impact in Scotland and won his master a prize of £1000 by beating a Norman knight in a joust at Leith. At home at Red Castle, Daniel always stood guard behind Sir Walter's chair. One evening there was a banquet and the knight noticed that his little servant was missing. He was distracted from asking about the dwarf when his cook brought in a great pie. After Berkeley cut open the crust, Linicus jumped out and made a graceful bow, much to his master's delight.
The following November, Vikings made a surprise attack on the coast. They tried to storm Red Castle many times, but the giant Daniel always repulsed them. But finally the huge man was overpowered and killed. The broken hearted dwarf died the next day.
The 15th century Red Castle later passed back into the hands of the crown before being passed on to the non-royal Stewarts. Despite the best efforts of Andrew Grey, Red Castle remained largely intact until 1748, at which times the slates and joists were carried to Panmure. This was followed by a free-for-all, when the locals felt able to plunder the remains for building material. Around this time a statue of King William the Lion, which was said to have stood at the top of the building, tumbled down and was smashed to pieces. It only seems like a matter of time before coastal erosion does the same for the crumbling remains.