Castles in Scotland
Scotland is home to a number of beautiful castles including Edinburgh and Culzean, which are situated close to some of our most popular Club Sites.
Below you can read up on the history of some of the castles, alongside a handy link to to our nearest Club site.
Stirling Castle played an important part in the Wars of Scottish Independence being fought by Edward I and Robert the Bruce. In June 1314, King Robert's forces met the English army attempting to relieve the siege at the castle, at the Battle of Bannockburn, which is within sight of the castle walls.
Later it became a principle royal centre with several Scottish Kings and Queens being crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. In its later life, the castle became a barracks for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and remains their headquarters today.
Since being purchased by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria in 1852, Balmoral has been one of the Royal Family’s residences. The new castle was built in 1856 and the old castle demolished. Today, the estate covers some 49,000 acres.
Balmoral is privately owned property and is not part of the Crown estate. A distillery located in the grounds produces the Royal Lochnagar Single Malt whisky. The grounds, gardens and exhibitions are closed to the public during August, September and October, as the Royal Family are here on their summer holiday.
Culzean Castle is the former home of the Kennedy family, one of Scotland’s oldest families, who can trace their ancestry to Robert the Bruce. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. The foremost architect of the time, Robert Adam, converted the existing traditional Scottish house to the great castle it is now. Adam used the positioning of the house on the rocky bluff overlooking the sea to compose a 'medieval' castle with battlemented towers and turrets.
The castle was given to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945, with the stipulation that the apartment at the top of the castle should be given to General Dwight D Eisenhower in recognition of his role during the Second World War.
High on Castle Rock overlooking the city is Scotland’s most-visited attraction, Edinburgh Castle. A Royal residence from the 12th century until 1603, it is where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James VI, who would later be King of both Scotland and England.
The castle also houses the Scottish regalia, known as the Honours of Scotland and is the site of the Scottish National War Memorial and museum. In 1996, the Stone of Destiny, on which Kings were enthroned for centuries, was returned to Scotland and is now displayed in the Crown Room.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic images of Scotland. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet and surrounded by majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish Highlands.
Home of the Clan MacKenzie, the island has been fortified from the mid-13th century, while the castle has been re-built many times. Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719 by gunfire from three Government warships, Eilean Donan lay in ruins for the best part of 200 years until Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911. He then proceeded to restore the castle to its former glory. After 20 years of toil and labour, the castle was re-opened in 1932.
Inveraray Castle has been standing on the shores of Loch Fyne since the 1400s. The impressive country house seen today was inspired by a sketch by Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in the 1700s. It has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, since the 17th century.
The famous Armoury Hall contains some 1300 pieces, including Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes and 18th century Scottish broadswords. There are also some preserved swords from the Battle of Culloden. The castle’s collection of china, silver and family heirlooms are illustrated by the genealogical display in the Clan Room.