Edzell Castle is a ruined 16th-century castle, with an early-17th-century walled garden.

The first castle at Edzell was a timber motte and bailey structure, built to guard the mouth of Glenesk, a strategic pass leading north into the Highlands. The motte, or mound, is still visible 300 metres south-west of the present castle, and dates from the 12th century. It was the seat of the Abbott, or Abbe, family.

The construction of current castle was begun around 1520 by David Lindsay, 9th Earl of Crawford, and expanded by his son, Sir David Lindsay, Lord Edzell, who also laid out the garden in 1604. The castle saw little military action, and was, in its design, construction and use, more of a country house than a defensive structure. It was briefly occupied by English troops during Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Scotland in 1651.

In 1715 it was sold by the Lindsay family, and eventually came into the ownership of the Earl of Dalhousie. It was given into state care in the 1930s, and is now a visitor attraction run by Historic Environment Scotland (open all year; entrance charge). The castle consists of the original tower house and building ranges around a courtyard. The adjacent Renaissance walled garden, incorporating intricate relief carvings, is unique in Scotland. It was replanted in the 1930s, and is considered to have links to esoteric traditions, including Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Catherine Lindsay (11 months ago)
Great to visit my family home!! Friendly, informative staff and a real gem.
Jonathan s (11 months ago)
Well worth a visit. Interesting castle nice gardens
susan entwistle (11 months ago)
Lovely ruin and gorgeous gardens. Plenty to see and great for all the family
Fay Vincent (11 months ago)
A life saver during lockdown, such a beautiful place to visit.
Gordon Millar (12 months ago)
Staff were very friendly and helpful. Information boards were very interesting. The castle is lovely and the gardens are beautiful
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