Loch Leven Castle

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Loch Leven Castle is situated on an island in Lock Leven, at the town of Kinross, 28 miles north of Edinburgh, 30 miles southwest of St Andrews.

The castle can be visited most of the year. It is closed in winter from 1st November to 30th March.

There is a small entrance fee to explore the castle. Postcode: KY13 8UF

Castle Map Large Images
Kinross Page Accommodation

See also a large Click On Map for Top Attractions in the area.

The image top is of Kinross Pier with a booking office for trips to Loch Leven Castle, information on the 12 mile walk around the loch, small cafe, and The Boathouse bar diner with views over the loch.



The pier can be found by following signs at the bottom of Kinross High Street.

Boats run from 10.00 to 16.00, one if not busy, two when busy. The island is a quiet place to spend some time and explore the castle. Information boards give the history of the castle and show what each room was used for.

Loch Leven Castle History

1200s - Loch Leven Castle is built for an unknown clan.

The town of Kinross grew around the castle as a staging post for travelers between south Scotland and Perth.

1296–1357 - the castle is fought over during the First War of Scottish Independence with the English forces gaining control.

The castle was soon re-taken by Scots, thought to be by forces of William Wallace.

1323 - Robert the Bruce stayed at the castle, using it as a prison.

1300s - after the wars of independence, the castle was acquired by William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, one of Robert the Bruce's most trusted friends.

1329 - Robert the Bruce dies leaving his 5 year old son David II as king of Scotland.

1332 – 1357 - the Second War of Scottish Independence takes place with the English trying to overthrow David II.

1335 - the English laid siege to Loch Leven Castle. Forces at Loch Leven Castle held out.

1357 - the Treaty of Berwick ended the war with David II remaining king of Scotland.

1400s - the Balfours had Burleigh Castle built 2 miles north of Loch Leven Castle.

1546 - Margaret Erskine and her son William Douglas built a mansion house on the shore of the Loch named Newhouse. This replaced the castle as their main residence, with the castle still used at times for security.

1565 - Mary Queen of Scots visited Sir William Douglas at Loch Leven Castle, a good friend at the time.

1576 February - the Husband of Mary, Lord Darnley was murdered in Edinburgh. Some people claimed Mary was behind the murder.

1567 April - Mary marries the Earl of Bothwell, who was accused of murdering her husband. This led to uprisings in Scotland.

1567 June - the Battle of Carberry Hill by Edinburgh takes place. The battle ended with Mary surrendering to the forces of a number of Scots Lords. These Lords wanted Mary to step down so her infant son could become king.

Mary was then taken to Loch Leven Castle to be held prisoner.

1568 - Mary escapes from the castle and flees to England where she was imprisoned by Elizabeth I, queen of England.

1587 - Mary is executed by beheading in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle in central England

1675 - Sir William Bruce, the famous Scottish architect, bought the house, castle and lands at Loch Leven from the Douglass.

1685 - Bruce built Kinross House next to the old Douglas mansion, with views out to Loch Leven Castle. The Douglas mansion was demolished.

Bruce preserved Loch Leven Castle as it could be viewed from Kinross House.

1700s - Kinross Estate passed to the Grahams.

1700s late - the Grahams also acquired Burleigh Castle.

1800s - Kinross Estate was acquired by the Montgomerys with the castle left to fall into ruin.

1939 - Kinross Castle was taken over by Historic Scotland to serve as a tourist attraction. Burleigh Castle was also acquired by Historic Scotland to serve as a tourist attraction.

2010 - an English businessman named Donald Fothergill bought Kinross House and Estate. The house is now available for weddings and functions.

Official website:
historicenvironment.scot

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Loch Leven Castle photos