Kilcoy Castle

A Z-plan tower house, Kilcoy Castle is located on the Black Isle, 3 miles (5 km) east of Muir of Ord. The estate was once the property of the Stewart family, the castle was built by Alexander Mackenzie of Kintail soon after he acquired the estate through marriage in 1618. It comprises four storeys with two round corner tower incorporating turnpike stairs, one of which is capped by a watch-room. The roof is slated and features crow-stepped gables and dormer-head windows, the latter probably inserted in the late 17th century. Gun loops abound. A kitchen and wine-cellar once occupied the vaulted basement, with the great hall on the first floor above. A fireplace in the hall displays family shields along with motifs of mermaids playing harps and a date of 1679.

By the middle of the 19th century the castle had become a ruin but was restored c.1891 when it became the property of the Burton-Mackenzie family. It was restored again in 1968 and remains occupied. The extensive gardens are occasionally open to the pubic under Scotland's Gardens Scheme.

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