Burleigh Castle – An Imposing Structure

The ruins of Burleigh Castle lie to the east of Milnathort not far from Perth and Kinross in Scotland. The castle was built of red sandstone and surrounded by a moat. The original structure comprised of two towers built over two periods of time. It was partly built in the 15th century and the second tower which was a gate house dates back to 1582. They were connected by a curtain wall.The land was in the possession of the Balfours since 1446. It was not a particularly significant structure architecturally but has historical significance as a place visited by King James IV.

Burleigh Castle was once a large and imposing castle of four stories and extended up to a courtyard wall. The structure has a wide, arched gateway. Sections of the courtyard wall are still visible today. Burleigh Castle has an interesting feature in that the corner tower is round at the base, but has been corbelled out to a square at the top. This must have been to create more living space on the higher floor.

The defensive nature of the castle is obvious from the fact that the walls have many shot-holes and gun-ports. One can still see some of the wooden sills remaining in the walls. The entrance to the castle went through a lobby to a turnpike stair. As is the case in many large castles of that style and era, the basement is vaulted, and the main hall was on the first floor. The turnpike stair in the north-east corner originally led up to a watch tower and gave access to the parapet walk. The original round tower house still survives in the north-west corner and its four stories are largely intact.

The rectangular tower house opposite the round tower originally had a corbelled-out parapet and garret. Now all that remains of it are a few stones. The remains of the castle comprise the western part of what was once a square courtyard. Burleigh Castle remained with the Balfour family until 1757, when the castle passed to the Irwins and then to the Grahams of Kinross.

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