Castle Cary Castle is a fifteenth-century tower house. It is located near to the site of one of the principal forts of the Roman Antonine Wall.
The earliest known record of Castlecary may be from 1304 when a writ was sent from St Andrews to the sheriff of Stirling by King Edward I. It reportedly contained orders for the sheriff to bring all of the forces under his command to 'Chastel Kary'.
The tower, about 12 metres high, is thought have been built by Henry Livingstone of Myddillbynning being completed by 1480. Mary Queen of Scots is reported to have visited the castle with Mary Livingston and each to have planted a yew tree there. For the 16th and the early part of the 17th centuries it belonged to the Livingstones of Dunipace, and was then acquired by the Baillies. In 1730, the castle passed to Thomas Dunbar of Fingask, through his marriage to Bethia Baillie.
The castle was burned by a party of Jacobites during the 1715 rebellion. Later it was restored and today the site is a private residence with no public access. The antiquary Alexander Baillie[ was probably born in Castle Cary Castle, and it was from this castle that his sister, Lizzie, eloped with Donald Graham, a Highland farmer, by leaping into his plaid (Belted plaid). The castle later became the property of the Marquess of Zetland.
The castle originated as a rectangular tower with a lower wing, forming an L-shape, and was built from in the late 15th century, incorporating stone from the nearby Antonine fort. The antiquarian Hugo B. Millar, who lived there, claimed there were many such 'broached' stones all over the castle, and in other walls about the garden. The original wing was destroyed, then during the 17th century, a wing was added to the east of the tower; it bears the date 1679. This was two storeys high, and had an attic, as well as a turnpike stair. Both the main tower and the extension have a pitched roof and crow-stepped gables, and the original tower has a restored parapet which is crenellated. There is a machicolated projection at the east end of the north wall, at parapet level, although its defensive value would have been limited, as it was not placed above the entrance. It is, however, more likely that this feature is a Garderobe.
A turnpike stair leads from the north entrance to the parapet, where there is a cap-house from which the attic may be entered. There is a barrel-vaulted cellar on the ground floor. Traces of 18th century wall painting may be seen in the Hall, which also has the bases and moulded jambs of the fireplace. An iron grille, part of the original defences of the door, is preserved within.
Beneath the 17th-century extension, there is a 7.5-metre-wide ditch which was filled in for the construction of the wing. It may have been contemporary with the 1485 structure.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".