Castle Leod is the seat of the Clan Mackenzie. The castle is believed to have been built on the site of a very ancient Pictish fort from before the 12th century. The current castle is the result of work carried out in the early 17th century by Sir Roderick Mackenzie. The castle has remained the seat of the Earls of Cromartie ever since.

In 1746 George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie, forfeited the estate, following his support for the ill-fated 1745 Jacobite Uprising. The estates, but not the title, were restored to his son in 1784. The castle was reported to already be in a run-down state earlier in the same century, when the estate was badly debt-ridden.

In the mid-19th century, Castle Leod was completely renovated by the Hay-Mackenzies. Descendents of the 3rd Earl, the Hay-Mackenzies were restored to the earldom of Cromartie when Anne Hay-Mackenzie married George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland in 1861. In 1851 large extensions were added to the north of the castle, which were rebuilt in 1904. The roof was made watertight as recently as 1992. The castle remains the home of the Earl of Cromartie, and is open to the public on a limited number of days.

Castle Leod is a compact L-Plan tower house, built of red sandstone, forms the earliest part of the castle, and may be based on a 15th-century building. An additional section was later added in the re-entrant angle, making the castle square in plan, and accommodating a larger staircase and extra bedrooms. The date 1616 is carved on a dormer window, but it is not known if this date refers to the original phase or the extension. The addition was built over the parapet of the original front, and is more decorative in style.

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Highland, United Kingdom
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Founded: 17th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Keith Richards (11 months ago)
Loved this castle even met the Laird and the grounds and the trees are fantastic.
Keith Richards (11 months ago)
Absolutely loved this place was well worth the visit showed you how the Lairds lived and Ruled in days of old .And even was greeted by the current Laird who was very helpful and charming .
Katherine Clayton (11 months ago)
What a excellent place to visit. Value for money as you get so much information within the Castle and the grounds are stunning. The staff were friendly, very knowledgeable and helped us understand some intricate details of the family history. We spent a few hours here and would happily go back. It's beautiful and very well cared for. Highly recommend ❤???????
The Lookout Skye (11 months ago)
Very interesting tour into the castle with many stories and history,well worth the special trip , tors are only available on selected dates as advertised on website
Jeremy Moodey (11 months ago)
We were fortunate to catch this beautiful castle, the seat of the Clan Mackenzie, on one of its rare open days. The various rooms are well explained and the Jacobite history is fascinating. There is an excellent walk through woods past giant sequoia trees, one of them reputed to be the largest tree in Britain. But the real highlight is meeting the current clan chief himself, the 5th Earl of Cromartie, who seemed to take real pleasure in allowing us to tramp round his ancestral home.
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