Kilcoy Castle was built around 1580 by the Stewart family, and completed by Alexander Mackenzie, third son of Colin Cam Mackenzie of Kintail around 1618. As a result of his marriage (contract 15 August 1611) to the widow of Sir James Stewart of Kilcoy, he had a charter of the lands of Kilcoy dated 18 July 1616 and a further charter of the Barony of Kilcoy dated 29 January 1618. The estates passed through the male line of the Mackenzies of Kilcoy until the death in 1883 of Sir Evan Mackenzie, 2nd Baronet, when they were inherited by his eldest daughter, who married a Colonel Burton.
It fell into a ruinous state during the late 18th and 19th Centuries and was restored in 1891 by the Inverness Architects Ross and McBeth, who added a four-storey wing to the north. The castle was restored from a ruinous condition in about 1891.
The castle is a Z-plan tower house. It has four storeys with two round corner towers. The slated roof has crow-stepped gables and (probably late 17th century) dormer-head windows. There are many gun loops.
The castle has been recently sold. Its gardens are periodically open to the public under Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.