Bothwell Castle, Scotland

 This evening, I am posting another selection from Scotland’s wide portfolio of some 600 castles of which I have now visited a substantial number.

Above is Bothwell Castle, which is within easy reach from Glasgow and one of the few castles in and around Glasgow. This is built of sandstone and stands on the banks of the River Clyde, a position which, in medieval times would have afforded both defence and a means of communication. This castle is packed with history. Between 1296 and 1357 the castle changed hands no less than 5 times in the on-going Wars of Independence between England and Scotland. Robert the Bruce had the castle slighted but it was rebuilt and then destroyed again by Andrew Moray in 1337. Much of the castle was use as a quarry to build a nearby mansion which in turn was pulled down due to subsidence as a consequence of coal mining. There remains enough of this castle to get a full appreciation for its size, importance and function.

Doune Castle

 Above is the entyr to Doune Castle guarded by a couple of actors with a Monty Python theme for it was here that some of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed. Like Bothwell above, Doune sits on the banks of a river, this time the Teith. The gatehouse is over 95 ft high and was even higher when first built. Most of the castle was built by Robert Stewart in the 15th century.In its time Doune was a hunting fortress used by the Scots Royal Family. Over the years Doune became a ruin but was restored in the 19th century and is now a popular visitor atrraction and deserving of a visit.

Balvenie Castle, Scotland

 Balvenie is (literally) closely connected with Scotland’s whisky industry owing to its close proximity to both Balvenie and Glenfiddich Distilleries on Speyside. Unusually for a Scottish Castle, Balvenie did not experience major military action notwithstanding its strategic importance controlling the junction of key roads in Aberdeenshire and Strathspey. Had connections with the Black Douglases, Earls of Atholl and Mary, Queen of Scots. Owned by the Duff family until 1718.

Inverlochy Castle, Fort William

 Inverlochy Castle is a substantial ruin located close to Fort William in the Highlands. Built to control the southern end of the Great Glen around 1275 by the Red Comyn, John, as Lord of Lochaber. Free entry and good photo opps. Worth a visit when in Fort William area.

Drummond Castle, Perthshire

Drummond Castle, Perthshire is still in good condition and in private hands. Unfortunately, this castle is not open to the public but the stunning gardens associated with it are. This castle dates from around 1490 and has been home to two queens of Scotland. Long associated with the Drummond family.

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