Location: Ross-shire, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Built: 12th century.
Ownership / Access: Private.
Opening times: Check their website for more info.
Price of admission: Check their website for more info.
Notes: Castle Leod is the seat of the Clan Mackenzie. It is a category A listed building, and the grounds are listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes of Scotland, the national listing of significant gardens. It is located near Strathpeffer in the east of Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands. A compact L-Plan tower house, built of red sandstone, forms the earliest part of the castle, and may be based on a 15th-century building. An additional section was later added in the re-entrant angle, making the castle square in plan, and accommodating a larger staircase and extra bedrooms. The date 1616 is carved on a dormer window, but it is not known if this date refers to the original phase or the extension. The addition was built over the parapet of the original front, and is more decorative in style. In some parts the walls of the castle are 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) thick. Other defensive measures include the iron grilles which remain on some lower windows, and numerous splayed gun loops and arrow-slit windows. The rooms, some wood-panelled, are decorated with many Mackenzie portraits from past centuries, as well as antique furnishings and large-scale antique maps. Many original fittings are to be found around the castle. The grounds include two Spanish chestnuts, said to have been planted by John of Killin in 1556, to mark the confirmation of his acquisition of Castle Leod by Mary Queen of Scots.
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Castle Leod Links:Castle Leod On Wikipedia