Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scots, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert's stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and the whole castle was traditionally thought of as the result of a single period of construction at this time. The castle passed to the crown in 1425, when Albany's son was executed, and was used as a royal hunting lodge and dower house.

In the later 16th century, Doune became the property of the Earls of Moray. The castle saw military action during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and Glencairn's rising in the mid-17th century, and during the Jacobite risings of the late 17th century and 18th century. By 1800 the castle was ruined, but restoration works were carried out in the 1880s, prior to its passing into state care in the 20th century. It is now maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.

Due to the status of its builder, Doune reflected current ideas of what a royal castle building should be. It was planned as a courtyard with ranges of buildings on each side, although only the northern and north-western buildings were completed. These comprise a large tower house over the entrance, containing the rooms of the Lord and his family, and a separate tower containing the kitchen and guest rooms. The two are linked by the great hall. The stonework is almost all from the late 14th century, with only minor repairs carried out in the 1580s. The restoration of the 1880s replaced the timber roofs and internal floors, as well as interior fittings.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Phil McDonagh (11 months ago)
A castle from movie and TV. Excellent in its own right, and very well preserved. Our sons have both watched Monty python's Holy Grail recently so this was a bit of a bonus when staying in the area. Every member of staff was helpful, telling the kids about the castle, and events that had happened, or offering advice on walks around the grounds too. Would go again
Alex Butler (12 months ago)
Another excellent Historic Scotland site. The castle is well presented inside and out, with plenty of information on hand, and set in a beautiful position at the confluence of two rivers. The COVID measures are clear, easy to follow and well monitored. However, what made this a thoroughly enjoyable trip (with a 5yo and a 1yo) was the well informed, friendly and extremely attentive staff. A real pleasure.
Mark Hutcheon (12 months ago)
Very good measures in place with parking, sanitize stations and controlling entry. Staff took extra time to speak to children encouraging them to notice features. A brilliant day out, and as it is mostly indoor it suits a rainy day aswell
Rod Hill (12 months ago)
As a visitor attraction it doesn't warrant the H.E.S. £9/person charge. As H.E.S. members, we enjoyed the visit though. .. a simple printed description of the Castle should be provided free. An inexpensive alternative to the presently banned headphones. Wonderful walks in the vicinity..
tam campbell (13 months ago)
Set in a lovely valley next to river nice walks
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