Balvenie Castle ***

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Balvenie Castle is a large and impressive ruinous courtyard castle, with a 13th century curtain wall and surrounding ditch, a 16th century L-plan tower house at one corner, and other 15th century ruined ranges within the courtyard.

The first castle, then called Mortlach, was partly destroyed by the forces of Robert the Bruce in 1308.  Balvenie passed to the Douglases, who rebuilt the castle It was granted to John Stewart, Earl of Atholl, by James II following the fall of the Black Douglases in 1455. Mary, Queen of Scots, probably visited in 1562.

The castle was used by the Marquis of Montrose during his campaign against the Covenanters in 1644-5.

The castle was occupied by the Jacobites in 1689, but in 1715 was held against them by the Duffs. It was unroofed by 1724, although a Hanoverian force, under the Duke of Cumberland, briefly held it in 1746. The ruins were put into the care of the State in 1929.

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