The Ochiltree Castle estate was owned by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart between 1526 after the forfeiture of Stirling of Keir and his beheading for treason in 1540. Its history after that date is unclear, but it may have been owned in the late 16th century by Captain James Stewart of Ochiltree in East Ayrshire who may also have built it. By 1610 it had returned to the Stirlings. At the time of an 1816 survey, the Ochiltree estate was owned by Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery and stretched between two parishes, Linlithgow parish and Ecclesmachan parish.

The castle is a three-storey L-plan building with an attic. It has circular bartizans on the second-storey level in the south east and north west angles. The entrance was originally in the interior angle in the north wall, adjacent to the circular stair turret. About 1610 it was extensively remodelled with a new doorway in the western face that opened on a porch; two finialed pediments over the doorway display the monograms of Sir Archibald Stirling of Keir and his wife Dame Grizel (née Ross) Stirling. A new strait staircase that ran along the western wall was added to connect the ground and first storeys. The northern wing was extended to include a new kitchen on the ground floor and the old kitchen was partitioned. A new west range of two-storey offices was also added, although this was later replaced in the late 19th century with a long single-storey wing, probably incorporating parts of the previous structure in its southern wall, with one block projecting south east.



Your name


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

More Information

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kraków Cloth Hall

The Cloth Hall in Kraków dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Kraków Old Town (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978).

The hall was once a major centre of international trade. Traveling merchants met there to discuss business and to barter. During its golden age in the 15th century, the hall was the source of a variety of exotic imports from the east – spices, silk, leather and wax – while Kraków itself exported textiles, lead, and salt from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Kraków was Poland's capital city and was among the largest cities in Europe already from before the time of the Renaissance. However, its decline started with the move of the capital to Warsaw in the very end of the 16th century. The city's decline was hastened by wars and politics leading to the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century. By the time of the architectural restoration proposed for the cloth hall in 1870 under Austrian rule, much of the historic city center was decrepit. A change in political and economic fortunes for the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria ushered in a revival due to newly established Legislative Assembly or Sejm of the Land. The successful renovation of the Cloth Hall, based on design by Tomasz Pryliński and supervised by Mayor Mikołaj Zyblikiewicz, Sejm Marshal, was one of the most notable achievements of this period.

The hall has hosted many distinguished guests over the centuries and is still used to entertain monarchs and dignitaries, such as Charles, Prince of Wales and Emperor Akihito of Japan, who was welcomed here in 2002. In the past, balls were held here, most notably after Prince Józef Poniatowski had briefly liberated the city from the Austrians in 1809. Aside from its history and cultural value, the hall still is still used as a center of commerce.

On the upper floor of the hall is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum, Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture, in four grand exhibition halls arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch. The museum was upgraded in 2010 with new technical equipment, storerooms, service spaces as well as improved thematic layout for the display.

The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art was a major cultural venue from the moment it opened on October 7, 1879. It features late Baroque, Rococo, and Classicist 18th-century portraits and battle scenes by Polish and foreign pre-Romantics.