Huntingtower Castle is situated about
3 miles northwest of Perth centre, just
on the outskirts of the city.
The Ruthven's owned this land from
around the 1100s. The earliest parts of
the castle seen today are from around
1488 when William Ruthven became the 1st
Lord Ruthven. The castle at that time was
known as Ruthven Castle.
There is a small entrance fee to
explore the castle rooms and walk around
the top for views over Perth. There are a
number of notice boards giving the
history of the castle and what the rooms
were used for. Postcode: PH1 3JL
See also a large Click On
Map for Top Attractions in the area.
The image top is from the entrance lane with
the car park. Large Image.
The image second top is of the castle south
The Ruthven's were close to the monarchy
with Mary Queen of Scots visiting Ruthven
Castle in 1565.
The Ruthven's were later involved in the
imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots, and held
her son King James VI captive for 10 months.
This led to a number of Ruthven's being
executed and having their land and castle taken
Ruthven Castle was then awarded to the kings
loyal followers the Murray's, leading to the
castle being re-named Huntingtower.
Huntingtower Castle History
1100s - the land to the northwest of Perth
is believed to have been owned by the Ruthven
1488 - William Ruthven becomes 1st Lord
Ruthven. It is believed he built the two main
towers of Ruthven Castle around that time.
1565 - Patrick, 3rd Lord Ruthven,
entertained Mary Queen of Scots and her husband
Lord Darnley on their honeymoon.
1566 - Patrick Ruthven is involved in the
murder of David Rizzio at Holyrood
Palace in Edinburgh. Rizzio was the
secretary of Mary.
stabbed 56 times by Lord Darnley and his
friends after Darnley blamed Rizzio for getting
1567 February - Lord Darnley is murdered in
the orchard of Kirk o' Field
house, close to Holyrood, where he had been
1567 June - William, 4th Lord Ruthven, gets
involved in the imprisonment of Mary Queen of
Scots at Loch Leven Castle 17 miles south. Mary
was then forced to give up her crown so her one
year old son James VI could become king of
1580 - the Ruthven's gained control of Scone
and rebuilt the Abbot's Palace at the Abbey to
serve as their grand residence.
1582 - William Ruthven held the 6 year old
King James VI captive for 10 months.
1584 - William Ruthven is beheaded at
Stirling for holding the king captive.
1600 - two Ruthven's were stabbed to death
at their home in Perth whilst King James VI was
visiting them. The kings guards claimed the
Ruthven's tried to kill the king. It is unknown
if they really did try to kill the king, or if
the king set them up as he did not trust the
The bodies of the Ruthven's were then tried
for high treason at Edinburgh, found guilty,
then hung, drawn and quartered.
The King then gifted the lands of Scone and
Ruthven Castle to his loyal supporters the
The Murray's added a number of buildings to
the castle with one joining the two towers
together. The castles name was changed to
Huntingtower around this time.
1767 - the wife of John Murray, 1st Duke of
Atholl, died leading to the castle being
abandoned by the Murray's.
Niel Cowan and his family looked after the
castle until they left in 2002. The castle was
then taken over by Historic Scotland to be run
as a visitor attraction with a small entry
The Murray's are one of the top clans in
Scotland with them owning Scone
Palace 4 miles east of Huntingtower.
The Murray's also own Blair Castle 33
miles northwest of Huntingtower. Scone and
Blair can be visited.