Duntarvie Castle is a ruined Scots Renaissance house in West Lothian. The lands of Duntarvie were in possession of the Lindsays from 1527. A charter of 1605 transferred the property from the Lindsays to the Hamiltons of Abercorn, and this 1605 charter infers the existence of the castle as early as 1212. The Durham family held Duntarvie as tenants of the Hamiltons, although according to Historic Environment Scotland, Duntarvie was granted to James Durham in 1588, who had the building constructed shortly afterward.

Alexander Durham (died 1584) held royal appointments including as a clerk in the Exchequer, the administrator of John Stewart of Coldingham, and Master of the Prince's Wardrobe to King James VI. Alexander's son James took over his father's offices in 1580, and served as Chamberlain for Linlithgowshire between 1595 and 1600. James witnessed several royal charters made by King James at Holyroodhouse. The Durham family left Duntarvie in the 1770s.

By 1826 the house was in the ownership of the Earl of Hopetoun, and in need of urgent repair. It was uninhabited from the 1840s, and by the 20th century it was ruinous and roofless.

In the late 20th century the shell was purchased by kiltmaker Geoffrey Nicholsby, with the intention of restoring it as a headquarters of his business Highland Crafts Ltd. Preparatory work began in 1994, but part of the east tower collapsed in January 1995. Work continued in the Great hall of the castle with the aim to opening this part of the building up to couples who wish to get married within the castle building.

The house comprises a long, rectangular three-storey main block, with square four-storey towers projecting northwards at the ends. Each of these towers had a flat roof with a stone balustrade, and is flanked by a turnpike stair housed in a turret in the internal angle. The ground floor and first floor are linked by a straight stair, unusual for its date.



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Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Brian Henderson (15 months ago)
Stunning bits of old castle
Janis Crawford (21 months ago)
Fantastic venue
Johnny Nugent (21 months ago)
Lovely venue
John Isaacs (2 years ago)
Very impressive and when the restoration of the castle is finished it will be even more so .
Alan Tomkins (2 years ago)
We are looking for somewhere to hold our Daughters wedding in October and Duntarvie Castle looked really lovely. We went for a tour and Tricia was amazing. She went through all the options including one for holding the wedding outside. We were very impressed and will be taking our Daughter back there in a few weeks.
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