Timeless Castles in Angus & Dundee
Angus & Dundee may not possess as many castles as perhaps the renowned Castle Trail in Aberdeen & Grampian, however, the castles of Angus & Dundee are just as fascinating and well-worth a visit. Best known amongst the region's castles are Brechin, Edzel, Glamis and Kinnaird. Each castle has a unique feel to it. Built of hardy materials, the impressive structures have stood firm through time and will transport you back in time through Scotland's vibrant history. Various lords and ladies called these immense castles home and thus each castle tells a grand tale. Beautifully set in the Angus and Dundee region, a day of castle viewing is both rewarding and inspiring.
Affleck Castle is not open to view by the public but the structure is in a remarkable state of preservation. Located nine miles northeast of Dundee, just to the west of the town of Monikie, in Angus, Tayside (route B978) its original builders are not very well known. Affleck Castle was built around 1460, probably by the Auchinleks, who were the hereditary armor-bearers to the powerful Clan Lindsay, Earls of Crawford. The name Auchinleck, pronounced Affleck, is Gaelic, and means "Field of Stones".
Brechin Castle and the splendid Castle Gardens have been in the Dalhousie Family since the 17th Century. The estate encompasses 55,000 acres of stunning countryside in Angus County. Lord Dalhousie is clan chieftain of Clan Maule of Panmure in Angus and Clan Ramsay of Dalhousie in Midlothian. Brechin Castle stands on a rock bluff above the River Southesk on the site of an older fortress.
Broughty Castle has stood majestically at the mouth of the river Tay since 1496. It is built on the tip of a rocky promonotory projecting into the shallow waters of the Firth of Tay, which is an attractive little town five miles east of Dundee, not far from the harbor of Broughty Ferry. The castle has stunning views across the Tay River and is only minutes away from Broughty Ferry Beach and Esplanade.
Claypotts Castle is remarkably well preserved and a perfect example of a 16th-century castle in Scotland. It was never involved in any battle hence has never suffered any major damage or needed any restoration or reconstruction. It was more a dwelling for the family than a defensive structure and hence does not have the typical characteristics of a fortress. It stands near the suburb of West Ferry on the eastern edge of Dundee on the east coast of Scotland.
Colliston Castle is the dream come true venue for any girl who wants a romantic locale for her wedding. It has been the venue of many a fairy tale wedding and it is the first exotic location in Scotland that comes to mind while planning a grand wedding or corporate event. The arrangements made by the Colliston Castle Company while organizing a major event are perfect and leave nothing to be desired, from the marquee to the catering. The grand ballroom of the castle is available for wedding receptions and the bridal couple can even spend a honeymoon in the castle – a truly romantic start to their life together.
Cortachy Castle, in the heart of Airlie Estate, has been the home of the Ogilvy family and the seat of the Earls of Airlie ever since the time the family moved here in 1639 when the Airlie Castle was burned down. It is a grand whitewashed baronial structure on the river South Esk in Angus that guards the entrance to Glen Clova, 3 miles north of Kirriemuir. Cortachy is a much rebuilt and altered 15th century courtyard castle, built on the Z-plan, though very little of it is seen today.
Dudhope Castle, one of Dundee's oldest buildings has a magnificent location on an escarpment overlooking the city on the southern face of the Dundee Law. The original house was built in the 13th Century as home of the Scrimageour family who were appointed Hereditary Constables of Dundee by William Wallace.
Edzell Castle in Angus Region is an impressive ruin with one of the most attractive walled gardens in Scotland. The original wooden structure was built by the Abbott family on top of a motte around 1100. The property passed to the Stirlings of Glenesk, then by marriage to the Lindsays in 1358. It stayed with the Lindsays until 1715 and they developed the castle to what it is today.
Fans of Sir Walter Scott will recognize Ethie Castle as the inspiration for 'Knockwinnoch' in the novel 'The Antiquary'. Located north of Dundee, Carnoustie, and Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland, Ethie Castle is a short distance from the beautiful Angus Glens, home to eagles, buzzards, deer and some of the most breathtaking surroundings in Scotland. Ethie Castle is an ancient sandstone fortress of 14th Century and believed to be the second oldest permanently inhabited castle in Scotland. The original structure was a sandstone keep built by the Abbot and Monks of Arbroath Abbey in 1300. It was with the de Maxwell family for a while but reverted to the Abbot of Arbroath. It was rebuilt around a courtyard around 1530 in honor of King James V’s visit.
Finavon Castle is set within the small hamlet of Finavon, in the center of the County of Angus. Lying within the fertile Vale of Strathmore, Finavon is surrounded by glorious open farmland and stunning countryside. It is close to Forfar, a thriving, bustling market town. Finavon comprises of a castle and a country house; the ruined 14th century castle lies just to the east of the 19th century country house. The castle was built by the Lindsay Earls of Crawford on the family estate that they had owned since 1375.
Anyone who has ever been in Scotland has seen an image of Glamis Castle: it features on the Bank of Scotland ten pound note. Glamis Castle is best known as the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth’s mother, the Late Queen Mother. In fact, the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret was born at Glamis. Set in the rolling hills of Angus, 20km from the North Sea, Glamis has been the family home and historic seat of the Bowes-Lyons, the ancestors of the Earl of Strathmore, since 1372. The castle has been extensively renovated over the years, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries. The original tower house is at the center of the castle which now looks more like a French Chateau than a medieval fortress.
One of Scotland’s most romantic castles, Guthrie, is located in Angus County between Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire. The name was probably given for Guthrum, a Scandinavian prince who settled here early in the history of Scotland. Other legends claim the lands were named by an early Scots king when he was served by a fisherman, who ‘gut three’ fish for him. It may also be from the Gaelic ‘gaothairach’, or windy place.
Hatton Castle is located near Newtyle on the East of Scotland. Originally known as Newtyle Castle, it lies east of Perth and South of Kincardine. This restored 16th century tower-house of Central Angus lies immediately to the southeast of Newtyle and ten miles northwest of Dundee. Hatton Castle was built around 1575 by Laurence, the 4th Lord Oliphant and replaced the previous fortalice of Balcraig Castle which is located nearby. Hatton Castle was built on the lands given to Sir William Olifard by Robert the Bruce in 1317 for his support in the Wars of Independence.
Inverquharity Castle in Scotland takes its name from the adjacent Quharity Burn. It stands near the confluence of Quharity Burn and the South Esk River, 3 miles northeast of Kirriemuir. Inverquharity Castle is located in the lower section of Kirriemuir parish, and is one of the finest and most entire baronial buildings in Forfarshire. The original rectangular tower was built in the early 1440s by the Ogilvie family who owned the property from1420 till the late 18th Century. In 1444 King James II granted to Alexander Ogilvie, the 2nd Lord Inverquharity the license to build an iron yett, an honor bestowed on only the most trusted.
Would you like to spend a vacation in a magnificent castle nestled between the unspoiled Angus coasts and gently rolling glens? Kinnaird Castle in Brechin has opened its doors to allow guests to stay. The home of the Earl and Countess of Southesk it is the seat of the Carnegie family, Dukes of Fife and Earls of Southesk, and has been with them for over 600 years. The name “Kinnaird” comes from the Gaelic Ceann-airde, meaning "the head of the hill-rise". The castle is just fifty feet above the Vale of the Angus South Esk, but its towers afford a magnificent view of Strathmore and the distant Grampians.
Mains Castle, also known as Fintry Castle, was built in the mid 16th century by Sir David Graham, a nephew of the infamous Cardinal Beaton. It was located on the south side of a tributary of Dichty River known as Gelly Burn, overlooking a ravine and wooded den. The Graham family owned the castle until the early 19th Century.
Melgund Castle was a roofless ruin till recently, when private restoration work was undertaken. It is located four miles south west of Brechin and about a mile from the village of Aberlemno in the Angus region. Melgund Castle was built in 1543 by Cardinal David Beaton, Archbishop and Chancellor of Scotland. He obtained this secular property, the barony of North Melgund for his favorite mistress, Marion Ogilvy.
Red Castle looms over the waters and sands at Lunan on the hill overlooking the beach. A former Royal pleasure palace, Red Castle now serves as just a humble place to enjoy some bird watching off the coast. The Castle was built on the orders of King William the Lion in the late 12th Century as a fortress and a preemptive measure against the marauding Viking invaders. It ended up being one of King William’s favorite hunting lodges during the latter part of his reign