Crathes Castle is a 16th-century castle near Banchory in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. Construction of the current tower house of Crathes Castle was begun in 1553 but delayed several times during its construction due to political problems during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. It was completed in 1596 by Alexander Burnett of Leys, and an additional wing added in the 18th century.

This harled castle was built by the Burnetts of Leys and was held in that family for almost 400 years. The castle and grounds are owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland and are open to the public.

The castle contains a significant collection of portraits, and intriguing original Scottish renaissance painted ceilings survive in several Jacobean rooms.

During 2004 excavations uncovered a series of pits believed to date from about 10,000 years ago. The find was only analysed in 2013 and is believed to be the world's oldest known lunar calendar. It is believed that it was used from 8,000 BC to about 4,000 BC. It is believed to pre-date by up to five thousand years previously known time-measuring monuments in Mesopotamia.

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Founded: 1553-1596
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Tanya mac (9 months ago)
Unfortunately closed when we visited however a very stunning castle! Gardens looked lush has amazing walks around the area and lots of information on board. Will definitely be back when open
Scottie S (10 months ago)
Had a really great walk with the dogs round the grounds of the castle. It's been a long time since I've been there, really enjoyable and you can get into the woods really easy. Very enjoyable.
Geri Mundy (10 months ago)
What a glorious building. The staff have worked hard to allow visitors back in safely to enjoy much of the interior. Entry to the castle is by timed slot bookable at the gift shop. Be warned though - you need to climb up & down spiral stairs. But for those of us less spritely, plenty of time has been allowed between visitors & if you do catch up, just be sensible.
Sripad Gopala (11 months ago)
Although the Castle is worth a look, the walks in the extensive grounds are probably some of the best walks in the region Park on the right just past the gates and send your way up to the cafe. This is s great walk with mixed woods, farmland and along the water. Cafe is open for takeaway but you can picnic on the lawns on a nice day and follow the road back to the gates for a shorter route back. Great for dogs who love the water. Wellies are advisable if it's been wet
Nick Latham (11 months ago)
House closed but managed the gardens and only had to pay the car park fee. Nothing open - not even the cafe (which was what Facebook was implying - but got a good lunch virtually opposite the entrance at Milton Brasserie) The walled gardens are good - and would have been spectacular a few weeks ago. Also a good walk around the grounds.
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