Doune Castle

Doune Castle
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Doune Castle

Located a half-mile (1 km) southeast of the village of Doune, above the confluence of the Rivers Teith and Ardoch, Doune Castle is one of the most significant and best preserved examples of 14th-century military architecture in Scotland. The triangular site is naturally well defended, being protected on two sides by the rivers and on the third by a deep moat. The castle was built at a strategic cross-roads by Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany (c.1340 - 1419) and comprises an impressive curtain wall enclosing a large court dominated by a square gatehouse-tower. Doune passed to King James I when he executed Stewart's son, Murdoch, the 2nd Duke of Albany (c.1362 - 1425) and became the home of a succession of dowager queens, before passing to the Earls of Moray. The castle fell to the Jacobites in 1745. Ruined and roofless by the end of the 17th century, it remained in this sad state until the 14th Earl undertook repairs in 1883.

The castle was used as the backdrop for the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and Ivanhoe (1952 and again in 1997). Doune was also a filming location for the hugely-successful American fantasy television series Outlander (2014).

In 1984, the castle was given to the Secretary of State for Scotland on a 999 year lease and has subsequently been in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

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