Blair Castle

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

Dating from 1269 Blair Castle has been the home of the Atholl family for over 700 years. It is reputed to be the last castle in Britain to have been besieged. The forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie and those of the government both laid siege at different times during the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46.
Queen Victoria stayed at the castle in 1844 and as an expression of her gratitude presented the Duke with Colours for his men, the Atholl Highlanders. They are still in existence and form the only remaining private army in Europe. Outside the skirl of the pipes can be heard every day during the season echoing through the battlements and beyond.
In August 1564, when Mary stayed here on her return from Inverness, a special hunt was arranged. 3000 Highlanders drove 2000 deer from the surrounding hills into the glen for the hunt, during which 360 deer and 5 wolves were killed.
Blair Castle boasts spacious grounds well worth visiting too. Take a stroll through Diana's Grove (below left) with its unique collection of giant conifers, past the statue of Hercules, overlooking the recently restored 18th century walled garden and on to St Brides Kirk (below right), the final resting place of "Bonnie Dundee" who was mortally wounded at the nearby Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.
Open from April to October. Tel.: 44+ (0)1796 481 207 or email:

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