Taymouth Castle lies on the south bank of the River Tay, about a mile from Loch Tay, in the heartland of the Grampian Mountains.
Taymouth Castle stands on the site of the much older Balloch Castle, which was built in 1552, as the seat of the Campbell clan. In the early 19th century, Balloch Castle was demolished by the Campbells of Breadalbane, so that the new, much larger castle could be rebuilt on the site. The new castle's blue-grey stone was taken from the quarry at Bolfracks.
Built in a neo-Gothic style and on a lavish scale, Taymouth Castle is regarded as the most important Scottish castle in private ownership. Its public rooms are outstanding examples of the workmanship of the finest craftsmen of the 19th century. No expense was spared on the castle's interior, which was decorated with extravagant carvings, plasterwork and murals. Panels of medieval stained glass and Renaissance woodwork were incorporated into the scheme. Much of this decor still survives.
Francis Bernasconi, acknowledged as the greatest designer of fine plasterwork of the era, created the magnificent central staircase, that connects all four storeys of the central tower. Many of the ceilings were painted by Cornelius Dixon.
The castle is a Category A listed building, and the grounds, which include parklands and woodlands, are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, the national listing of significant gardens.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.