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.[6] 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.



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

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Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.