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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Scotland - Lochleven Castle






Location
near Kinross, Perth and Kinross, Scotland

Description
Lochleven Castle is located on an island in Loch Leven and can be reached by ferry.

The Castle can be reached by a ferry boat operated from Kinross by Historic Scotland during the summer months. The 14th-century tower house is still largely complete and dominates the castle ruins. The interior has kitchen and service accommodation in the bottom two floors and living space above. The floor above the hall served as Mary's prison and visitors can stand in the rooms that served as her cell. The original entrance is 5m above ground level, and gave access directly into the hall on the third floor. The smaller 16th-century Glassin Tower is a residential tower attached to the enclosure wall. The Castle originally took up almost the entire area of the Island. The present larger Island was formed in the early 19th century when canal building lowered level of the Loch.

The ferry is not equipped to carry passengers in wheelchairs. Access to the castle forecourt, courtyards and gardens is over grass and accessible for visitors using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. The Glassin and Main Towers are not accessible due to flights of stairs.

History
Loch Leven Castle is situated on an island in Loch Leven. The original castle on the island may have been built as early as the late 13th century. The surviving enclosure wall may incorporate parts of this first castle. Loch Leven Castle was captured by the Scots by the end of the 13th century (possibly by the forces of William Wallace). King Robert Bruce visited the castle in 1313 and 1323. Following Bruce's death, it was besieged by English forces in support of Edward Balliol. The Castle was strengthened in the early-mid 14th century either by King Robert I or King David II. A tower house was added in the shape of a square keep five storeys tall. In 1372, the Castle was granted to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas by King Robert II.

Mary Queen of Scots first visited in 1561 as a guest of the owner, Sir William Douglas. A few years later, she was later imprisoned by Douglas in the castle tower in 1567. She eventually escaped in May 1568 after being forced to sign abdication papers in favour of her infant son, James VI. She went into exile in England and never returned to Scotland. Her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England imprisoned her until Mary was eventually executed in 1587.

In 1675 Loch Leven Castle was bought from the Douglases by Sir William Bruce. Bruce did not us it as a residence but continued to maintain it along with the gardens. Loch Leven Castle has been a ruin since the 18th century.


Other Castles in the Area
  Aberdour Castle, Fife
  Airth Castle, Falkirk
  Balgonie Castle, Fife
  Balhousie Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Ballinbreich Castle, Fife
  Balvaird Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Blackness Castle, Falkirk
  Burleigh Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Castle Campbell, Clackmannanshire
  Collairnie Castle, Fife
  Denmylne Castle, Fife
  Dundas Castle, Lothian
  Elcho Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Evelick Castle, Perth And Kinross
  Falkland Palace, Fife
  Fernie Castle, Fife
  Fingask Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Huntingtower Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Kinnaird Castle, Perth and Kinross
  Lauriston Castle, Lothian
  Lochore Castle, Fife
  Lordscairnie Castle, Fife
  Myres Castle, Fife
  Ravenscraig Castle, Fife
  Rosyth Castle, Fife







Rosyth Castle
From the pier.

Photograph by William Marnoch. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Rosyth Castle
The keep

Photograph by William Marnoch. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Rosyth Castle
Looking out from the keep

Photograph by William Marnoch. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)


 Lochleven Castle map