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near Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
Huntingtower Castle is located about 3 miles north west of Perth in central Scotland, on the main road to Crieff. The original castle was the three storey Eastern Tower (originally called the Huntingtower). The Eastern Tower was originally built as a gatehouse and was converted to a residential tower house around 1500. The Western Tower was added around the end of the 15th century with a gap of about 3 metres between them. The Western Tower was L-shaped in plan and connected to the Huntingtower by a wooden bridge below the level of the battlements. The space between the two towers was built up later in the 17th century. A great hall was built against the north side of the Western Tower in the 16th century, but nothing remains of it above ground. The defensive walls that originally enclosed the Castle have disappeared. There are a number of early 16th century paintings on the first floor of the Eastern Tower depicting flowers, animals and Biblical scenes. The Eastern Tower has a decorated wooden ceiling showing grotesque animals. This painted ceiling is one of the earliest of its kind to survive in Scotland.
Huntingtower Castle was built in the 15th century by the Clan Ruthven and was known for several hundred years as Ruthven Castle. During 1582 the Ruthvens kidnapped the young King James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots and held him prisoner at the castle for 10 months. This kidnapping is known as the "Raid of Ruthven". James eventually escaped and Ruthven was eventually executed and Ruthven Castle was forfeited to the crown. The Castle and lands were restored to the Ruthven family in 1586. However in 1600, the Ruthvens were again implicated in another plot to kill King James VI and were executed. This time, the king abolished the name of Ruthven and the House of Ruthven ceased to exist. The castle was then renamed Huntingtower. The Castle remained in the possession of the crown until 1643 when it was given to the Murray family. The castle began to fall into disrepair in the late 18th century. Huntingtower Castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland. It is open to the public and can be used as a venue for weddings.
Huntingtower is said to be haunted by "Lady Greensleeves", a young woman named Dorothea, daughter of the 1st Earl of Gowrie. The legend says she used to have secret meetings at night in the eastern tower with a servant boyfriend. One night the Countess discovered what was going on and made her way across the bridge from the family quarters in the western tower to the eastern tower to catch the pair. Dorothea heard her mother on the bridge and made her way to the roof. She leapt several metres from the east tower to the battlements of the west tower and rushed back to bed where here mother found her. The following day the couple eloped...
Other Castles in the Area
Balgonie Castle, Fife
Balhousie Castle, Perth and Kinross
Ballinbreich Castle, Fife
Balvaird Castle, Perth and Kinross
Burleigh Castle, Perth and Kinross
Castle Campbell, Clackmannanshire
Collairnie Castle, Fife
Craighall Castle, Perth and Kinross
Denmylne Castle, Fife
Drummond Castle, Perth and Kinross
Elcho Castle, Perth and Kinross
Evelick Castle, Perth And Kinross
Falkland Palace, Fife
Fernie Castle, Fife
Fingask Castle, Perth and Kinross
Kinnaird Castle, Perth and Kinross
Lochleven Castle, Perth and Kinross
Murthly Castle, Perth and Kinross
Myres Castle, Fife
Tullibole Castle, Perth and Kinross