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Huntingtower Castle

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Huntingtower Castle is situated about 3 miles northwest of Perth centre, just on the outskirts of the City, 63 miles north of Glasgow, 44 miles north of Edinburgh.

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

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The image top is from the entrance lane with the car park. Large Image. The image second top is of the Castle south side.

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 from them.

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 Clan.

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.

Rizzio was stabbed 56 times by Lord Darnley and his friends after Darnley blamed Rizzio for getting Mary pregnant.

1567 February - Lord Darnley is murdered in the orchard of Kirk o' Field house, close to Holyrood, where he had been living.

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 Scotland.

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 Ruthven's.

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 Murray's.

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 fee.

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.

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Huntingtower Castle Photos