Brechin Castle was constructed in stone during the 13th century. Most of the current building dates to the early 18th century, when extensive reconstruction was carried out by architect Alexander Edward for James Maule, 4th Earl of Panmure, between approximately 1696 and 1709. The castle is a Category A listed building and the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.

The grounds have been in the Maule-Ramsay family since the 12th century. The castle has been the seat of the Clan Maule since medieval times. The Maule and Ramsay clans were joined under a single chieftain in the 18th century. The seat of the Ramsay clan was moved from Dalhousie Castle in Midlothian to Brechin Castle in the early 20th century. The castle is the home of the Earl of Dalhousie, the clan chieftain of Clan Maule of Panmure in Angus, and Clan Ramsay of Dalhousie.

The formal gardens date to the early 18th century. Agriculture and forestry largely dominate the estate grounds, but tourists can stay at several guest lodges on the property.

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Founded: 1696-1709
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.