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

 Castles of Scotland - Muchalls Castle

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near Bridge of Muchalls, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Muchalls Castle is located in the Kincardine and Mearns area of Aberdeenshire, where it is set overlooking the North Sea. The original structure is a well preserved 14th century tower house, built by the Frasers of Muchalls. In the 17th century Alexander Burnett of Leys started expanding the castle, and the work was completed in 1627 by his son, Sir Thomas Burnett. A second floor was built over the intact Middle Ages ground level structure. The castle features corbelled turrets, massive ranges of chimneys, curtain-walled entrance courtyard with two sets of triple gunloops on either side of the entrance arch, and underground crypt, 17th century stone walled terraced gardens. There are original arrow slits through exterior walls that are over a meter thick. Crow-stepped gables with large chimneys are prominent at building endpoints. The castle is an A listed historical building, and other listed structures on the castle grounds, include a stone stables and a 17th century dovecote. The second level has a number of drawing rooms with ornate plasterwork ceilings dating back to 1624. These are amongst the finest examples of plasterwork ceilings in Scotland, showing family heraldry and bible figures. The third level consists of a number of bedrooms. The original plasterwork overmantle of the Great Hall fireplace features the arms of King James VI flanked by Egyptian style figures.

Several generations of the Burnett of Leys family lived in Muchalls Castle. Ownership of Muchalls Castle passed from the Burnett of Leys family about 1882. Later residents included James Robertson, Baron Robertson, President of the Scottish Court of Session, and Geraldine Simpson, heiress to the Pringle knitting fortune. In 1638

Muchalls Castle was the setting for an important meeting in the Covenanters opposition to the Episcopal liturgical system being imposed by the King. At Muchalls Castle, the Covenanters drafted a response to the Bishops of Aberdeen outlining why the bishops should sign the covenant. This was one of a number of events that led to King Charles I unexpectedly making concessions to the Covenanters .

Other Castles in the Area
  Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire
  Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Drum Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Drumtochty Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Fasque Castle, Aberdeenshire
  Midmar Castle, Aberdeenshire

Midmar Castle
Muchalls Castle. From a prominent position looking out over the busy A90 towards Muchalls and the sea

Photograph by Alan Thomson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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