Photo credit: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums
Is this a view of Fast, Tantallon or another castle?
That is a simplified and hazy view of Dover castle and cliffs
From my son, head of history at Marlborough Coloege and knowledgable about castles:
“ I think it's imaginary.
The architecture is wrong for Tantallon.
The castle itself looks a little more like Norham, which was a popular subject for romantics eg Turner. But that’s not on the coast. It seems to have a Norman keep; cf Bamburgh or Scarborough, but though they're on the coast the cliffs are very different.
Dunnottar Castle south of Aberdeen has similar cliff scenery and a big rectilinear keep like this - and the painting's in Aberdeen, for what that's worth: but the architecture looks different. I think it's a Norham-ish fantasy in a Tantallon/Dunottar setting. Would help to know where the artist liked to paint.”
McCulloch was a Glasgow painter, who did not venture as far as the south coast of England, but I wonder if there is a castle on the west coast of Scotland which fits the bill. It is certainly possible that it is an invention, although usually his paintings have a factual base of some sort.
From the profile of the cliff head alone, it is not an accurate depiction of Fast or Tantallon; Tantallon's cliff descends smoothly, without a bump. From the clothing of the staffage, I wonder if those are not Scots, but rather middle-easterners. It may be out of character for this painter, and it's hard to speculate, but could this be an Orientalist painting?
Culzean Castle in Ayrshire? https://www.celticcastles.com/castles/culzean/
Some similarities to this painting https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/culzean-castle-ayrshire-35347/search/keyword:culzean--referrer:global-search
It would have to be a very loose derivation of Culzean Castle, as it is clearly not accurate.