Majestic Broughty Castle
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.
Broughty Castle was built by the Gray family in 1495 over a period of forty years after King James II originally gave them permission to do so. It probably started off as a tower surrounded by a walled enclosure, very similar to how it is today.
This battle-scarred castle has faced many wars and sieges and has adapted to changing times through the centuries to meet the nation’s changing defense needs. It was mostly occupied by the Grays except whenever it changed hands during wars, depending on the outcome of the battle.
Gray was a supporter of the English and during the battles across the border in1547, the castle was surrendered to them. The English immediately started the work of reinforcing the rather weak defenses of the castle. In 1550 the French – who were supporting the Scots against their common enemy the English – with the Scots captured a secondary castle in the area that was also held by the English. Broughty Castle surrendered the next day. The damage was repaired and the Grays returned to the castle and lived in relative peace for another hundred years.
The Gray family sold Broughty Castle in 1666 after which it ceased to be in the limelight. It gradually became more dilapidated over the next two hundred years and was in ruins when it was bought by the War Office in1861. It was rebuilt as close as possible to the way it originally was as a part of the Crimean War effort. The castle was used by the military until 1932. The war years 1939 to 1949 again were times when Broughty Castle was used by the army. Recent years since 1969 has seen it being used as a museum of local history and war relics that is conducted by the Dundee Council. Broughty Castle is under the jurisdiction of Historic Scotland and cared for by Leisure and Culture Dundee, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.