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    Tour Dunnottar Castle

    Welcome to Dunnottar Castle, a historic defensive site on Scotland’s east coast.

    Tell me a little about Dunnottar Castle

    Dunnottar Castle is a romatic ruin sitting on a promontory jutting into the North Sea. The origins of the present structure date from the late 13th century but there are records of fortifications on the site as far back as the 7th century. The castle has long-standing conenctions with with Clan Keith. The ruined state is attributable to action by the English parliamentary army 1651-2.

    Tell me more about Dunnottar Castle

    The name Dunnottar translates as ‘fort slope’. The site offers a natural and dramatic defensive location, some 20 miles (32km) south of Aberdeen and 112 miles (180km) north of Edinburgh.

    There are records of conflicts at the site in 681 (siege), 895 (Viking attack), 934 (English attack) and 1296 when Edward I of England took control.

    A chronology of the site from the 13th century onwards is as follows:

    1290s: A fortification was built by the Keith family.

    1336: Rebuilt by the English king, Edward III. Much of the remaining structure today dates from this time. However, by year end  1336 forces under Sir Andrew Murray regained control for Scotland and destroyed the defences.

    1392: William Keith, Marischal of Scotland regained control and completed construction of the Tower House. Thereafter, Keith’s descendants held the castle until the 18th century.

    1581: George Keith initiated a major upgrade into a palatial, high status residence including restoration of the chapel and building of a new gatehouse.

    1651: Scotland’s crown jewels (Honours of Scotland) were taken to Dunnottar for safe keeping but were later smuggled out for safe keeping. In meantime English parliamentary forces were responsible for extensive physical damage in a failed attempt to locate the jewels in the castle. The castle’s ruined state dated from this time ( 1651-2).

    1685: The castle was used as a prison to hold 167 (male and female) covenanters in appalling conditions. Eleven died and most of the rest were shipped to slave plantations in the West Indies.

    1716: Dunnottar was forfeited to the crown due to George Keith siding with Jacobite rebels in 1715.

    1720 onwards: The castle underwent many changes of ownership and partial demolishment. The castle has been in the hands of the Pearson/Viscount Cowdray family since 1925 and is open to the public.

    To sum up, Dunnottar Castle ranks as one of  Scotland’s top tier castles with an illustrious history and of particular importance to members of Clan Keith. Stunning coastal views are available when weather conditions are right. Relatively close to Aberdeen and Dundee.

    Tell me how Catswhiskerstours can help with a visit to Dunnottar Castle.

    We can help as follows:

    • Include in a clan or castle themed tour of Scotland.
    • Include in a customized, sightseeing tour of Scotland.
    • Include in a self-drive (driving) tour of Scotland.

    For more help and information contact Nigel-



    T: 44 (0) 141 638 5500

    We look forward to hearing from you!







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