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

Julie North Yorkshire (20 months ago)
We loved this castle and the garden. We called in on the way to Fife from Aberdeen in August 2019 and found this very unusual Walled Garden and the Castle Ruins in old red sandstone. Easy to park the car and wonderful to walk around. A must if ever you are near.
Lisa Cooper Colvin (2 years ago)
A memorable and inspiring site! We had the site to ourselves as it is away from all the tourist buses....so peaceful and well staffed. Go hear from an outstanding property and no rushing! Loved it!
Johann Wiegele (2 years ago)
Good bit of history. Peaceful while we were there. Nice garden and well kept surrounds. Worth a visit. Town has several good eateries. We enjoyed it.
brian martin (2 years ago)
Superb property, beautifully looked after by Historic Scotland. Atmospheric; gives a feel of how Lord Lindsey lived. Have a look, i think you'll love it
Scotty D (2 years ago)
Considering when this castle was built, the owner was a very educated man, this is proven in the gardens, I won't spoil it! It's a beautiful building, a lovely sensory garden to sit in and the swallows do their dance around you. If you're lucky, you may even see Pete the Peacock!
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