Blair Castle is situated 33 miles northwest
by the village of Blair Atholl. This a Murray
& Stewart Castle.
The Castle is normally open for visits from
30 March - 31 October for self guided tours
with staff in many of the main rooms that give
information. Guided Tours for groups have to be
booked in advance through the website.
For about half price, you can just visit the
Castle Grounds and Restaurant / Cafe. Postcode:
Click On Map for area Attractions
Camping & Touring Parks in
The Image top is of Blair Castle from the
southwest with the 3,681ft / 1,122m Beinn a Ghlo
mountain behind, a popular hike from the
The main Attraction in the Estate is the
vast Walled Garden with a Hercules Sculpture.
There are also the ruins of St Bride’s Kirk,
Garden Sculpture Trail, Diana’s Grove with Tall
Trees, Red Deer Park, and a Gothic Folly.
The Grounds also hold a Holiday Park
with Caravans, Lodges, and cater for Touring
The Atholl Highlanders
Parade and Gathering / Highland Games is
held in the grounds of Blair Castle in late May
Blair Castle Horse
Trials are held in late August each
Pony Trekking, Land Rover Safaris, Walking,
Biking, and Fishing are all catered for on the
Blair Castle History
1269 - the earliest parts of Blair Castle
were built for John Comyn, Lord of
Blair land was owned by David I Strathbogie,
Earl of Atholl, who was on a Crusade at the
The return of the Earl led to Comyn being
forced off the land.
The Earl then added to the Comyn Tower,
leading to a substantial Castle.
1286 - King Alexander III died and his heir
to the throne, Margaret, Maid of Norway, died
in 1290, leading to Scots Nobles fighting
amongst themselves to see who should become
1305 - Robert the Bruce became King of
Scotland, taking land from Clans that fought
David II Strathbogie, had fought against
Bruce, leading to the King seizing Blair Castle
1371 - Robert Stewart, grandson of Robert
the Bruce, became King of Scotland, first of
the Stewart Kings.
Stewart Monarchs soon began using the name
Stuart, the French way of spelling the
1457 - King James II Stuart awarded the
lands of Blair to his half brother John Stewart,
with him becoming the 1st Stewart Earl of
1530 - the 3rd Earl extended the Castle,
adding the Great Hall.
1595 - the 5th Stewart Earl died without
leaving a son, leading to his Daughter and her
husband Sir William Murray of Tullibardine
gaining control of Blair.
1629 - the 5th Earls grandson, John Murray,
was created Earl of Atholl, first of the Murray
Earls of Atholl.
1642 - uprisings began throughout Britain
against King Charles I Stuart.
1649 - Charles I was executed by the
Government Forces of Oliver Cromwell.
1650 - the Forces of Oliver Cromwell invaded
Scotland, taking control of Blair Castle. The
Murray's had supported the King during these
wars, known as the Wars of the Three
1659 - Oliver Cromwell died.
1660 - Charles II Stuart was restored to the
throne, leading to the land of Blair being
returned to the Murray's and the title Marquess
of Atholl being created for John Murray.
1689 - King James II Stuart was overthrown
by his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband
to be William, who became Mary II and William
II. James was accused of being a Catholic with
close ties to France.
1689 April - John Graham, Viscount Dundee,
began the first Jacobite Rising in an attempt
to have James II restored to the throne.
The Marquess of Atholl remained loyal to the
William and Mary Government, but two of his
sons joined the Jacobite's, with the Jacobite's
taking control of Blair Castle.
1689 July - 2,500 Jacobite's at Blair Castle
marched 3 miles southwest to the Pass of
Killiecrankie where they defeated a
4,000 strong Government Army in a short
1689 August - Government Forces defeated the
Jacobite's at the Battle of Dunkeld, 19
miles south of Blair Castle, ending the First
Jacobite Rising, with King James forced to live
in exile in France.
1703 - the title Duke of Atholl was granted
to the 2nd Marquess.
1740 - the 2nd Duke extended the Castle and
carried out alterations to make it look more
like a Georgian Mansion by removing
1743 - the 2nd Duke had the statue of
Hercules erected at the Walled Garden.
1746 March - Blair Castle was besieged by
the forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart
during the 3rd Jacobite Rising. This was the
last Castle in Scotland to be attacked in
James Murray, 2nd Duke of Atholl, opposed
the Jacobite's, even though many Murray's
fought on the Jacobite side, with Lord George
Murray being a Jacobite General.
1746 April 2nd - Government Forces reached
Blair, forcing the Jacobite's to move
1746 April 16th - the Jacobite's were
defeated at the Battle of
Culloden, ending the Jacobite Risings.
1844 - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
stayed at Blair Castle with the Atholl
Highlanders paraded in front of them. Queen
Victoria then presented the Atholl Highlanders
with colours, giving the regiment official
status. This is now the last Private Regiment
1850s - tourism to Scotland was rising with
Castles being amongst the top attractions.
1860s - the 7th Duke had the Turrets rebuilt
so Blair would once again look like a
1936 - Blair Castle is opened to the public
as a tourist attraction.
1996 - Iain Murray, 10th Duke of Atholl,
died unmarried. He had placed Blair Castle and
most of his estates in a Charitable Trust, to
avoid paying inheritance taxes. The State now
own the Castle and Estate.
2011 10 March - a fire broke out in the
Clock Tower of the Castle, leading to the
tower's roof collapsing.
2012 - the Clock Tower was restored.
Today - Although Blair Castle and Estate are
in State care, the Duke of Atholl title
continues to be passed down the Murry line.
12th Duke of Atholl, lives in South Africa.