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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mark Jordan (16 months ago)
Always a lovely place for a walk. Kids park has had good items removed and now they are charging - this is ridiculous MUST be open for free again.
Bonnie Shauni (16 months ago)
Absolutely lovely place to visit. Grounds are perfect for a walk with the dogs. Everyone was really friendly and helpful. Will definitely be back again with the rest of the family soon enough. Very easy to find as well for someone who is hopeless with maps! Also visit the gift shop of you go!
michelle wituck (17 months ago)
Fancy an afternoon stroll by a castle? It’s a lovely visit even in the midst of a cloudy day. Beautifully cut hedges + garden. I didn’t care to go in, the outside is all you really need to appreciate.
Andy Rosiak (17 months ago)
Beautiful castle in the North East of Scotland. I went on a sunny day which, let's face it, really adds to the experience. The Gardens are vast and so well looked after, the sights, sounds and smells make this a treasured gem of a place. Has a coffee shop and a gift shop, an inexpensive way to spend a lovely day out.
Jamie Robinson (17 months ago)
Very nice castle grounds to walk. Adventure playground is good for kids and a fair price at £3 (under 4s go free), although I hope it gets expanded in future as it would benefit from being a bit bigger. Cafe serves good food, if a bit pricey.
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