The Historic Scotland Agency Safeguarded the Nation's Built Heritage


 

Historic Scotland, an Agency within the Scottish Executive Education Department  was directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation's built heritage, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. In December 2010 these functions were taken on by the Learning and Justice Directorates. For a number of years this was the Historic Scotland Agency's website.
Content is from the site's 2002  archived pages showing just a few of the historic castles found in Scotland as well as other outside sources.

Go to the Historic Scotland facebook page for current posts at https://www.facebook.com/visithistoricscotland/

Historic Scotland is an organisation responsible for the upkeep, protection and promotion of over 300 heritage sites throughout Scotland, which are open to the public.

Historic Scotland safeguards the nation's built heritage by scheduling monuments of national importance and by listing historic buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Scheduled monuments, listed buildings, and buildings in conservation areas, are protected by legislation and consent is normally required before any alteration or development can take place. The agency conserves properties in its care and provides financial assistance to private owners towards the costs of conserving and repairing outstanding monuments and buildings.

Historic Scotland leads in researching issues relating to building conservation and in developing and promoting craft skills. The agency carries out specialised conservation work and is active in raising the standard of conservation practice among owners, and trade and professional groups.

Historic Scotland has more than 300 properties in its care and welcomes around 2.9 million visitors each year to over 70 properties where admission is charged. The agency has a commitment to encourage knowledge about Scotland's built heritage and provides guidebooks and other publications, and educational material relating to the school curricular guidelines.

Historic Scotland was created as an agency in 1991 and was attached to the Scottish Executive Education Department, which embraces all aspects of the cultural heritage, in May 1999. As part of the Scottish Executive Historic Scotland is directly accountable to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation's built heritage, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment.


 




Castle, Palaces & Houses

 

BOTHWELL CASTLE,UDDINGSTON

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The largest and finest 13th-century stone castle in Scotland, much fought over during the Wars of Independence. Part of the original circular keep survives. It is a large medieval castle sited on a high, steep bank, above a bend in the River Clyde, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
At Uddingston off the B7071. Tel: 01698 816894
Open all year (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Shop
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

ABERDOUR CASTLE

A 14th-century castle built by the Douglas family. The gallery on the first floor gives an idea of how it was furnished at the time. The castle has a delightful walled garden and dovecote.  Parts of the castle date from around 1200, making Aberdour one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, along with Castle Sween in Argyll, which was built at around the same time.
In Aberdour, 5m E of the Forth Bridges on the A921. Tel: 01383 860519
Open all year (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Handicap Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Shop
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

BISHOP'S AND EARL'S PALACES

The Bishop's Palace is a 12th-century hall-house, later much altered, with a round tower built by Bishop Reid in 1541-48. The notorious Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, built the adjacent Earl's Palace between 1600 and 1607. The Earl's Palace is a ruined Renaissance-style palace near St Magnus's Cathedral in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland. Built by Patrick, Earl of Orkney, its construction began in 1607 and was largely undertaken via forced labour. Today, the ruins are open to the publicJoint ticket for all Orkney monuments.
In Kirkwall on the A960. Tel: 01856 875461
Open all year (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Visitor's Center
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Refreshments
  • Shop
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

CAERLAVEROCK CASTLE

Caerlaverock (Lark's Nest), one of Scotland's finest castles, is everyone's idea of a medieval fortress. It is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th century.The scene of two famous sieges this moated castle has a children's adventure park, model siege engine and nature trail in its grounds.
Video presentation available.
8m SE of Dumfries on the B725. Tel: 01387 770244
Open all year.

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Toilets/ Disabled Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Visitor's Center
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Refreshments
  • Picnic Area
  • Shop
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

CRAIGMILLAR CASTLE

Craigmillar Castle is a ruined medieval castle in Edinburgh, Scotland.Mary Queen of Scots fled to Craigmillar after the murder of Rizzio and it was here that the plot was hatched for the murder of her husband Lord Darnley. This handsome structure with courtyard and gardens covers an area of one and a quarter acres. The Castle is featured in the BBC production of Ivanhoe.
2.5m SE of Edinburgh off the A68. Tel: 0131 661 4445
Open all year. (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Exhibition
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

CRAIGNETHAN CASTLE

Craignethan Castle is a ruined castle in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. In a picturesque setting overlooking the River Nethan, the oldest part of the castle is a tower house built by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart in the 16th century. The castle's extensive defences include a caponier, a stone vaulted artillery chamber, unique in Britain.
5.5m WNW of Lanark off the A72. Tel: 01555 860364
Open all summer seven days a week. Also open in March and October except for Thurs. afternoons and Fri.

  • Car Park
  • Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Refreshments
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

EDZELL CASTLE AND GARDEN

Edzell Castle is a ruined 16th-century castle, with an early-17th-century walled garden. The beautiful walled garden at Edzell is one of Scotland's unique sights, created by Sir David Lindsay in 1604. The "Pleasance" is a delightful formal garden with walls decorated with sculptured stone panels, flower boxes and niches for nesting birds. Visitor Centre. The chequered arrangement of blue and white lobelia in the wall recesses reflect the heraldic colours of the Lindsays and the dwarf box hedge borders are cut to give the family mottoes.
At Edzell 6m N of Brechin on the B966. Tel: 01356 648631
Open all year (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Toilets/ Disabled Toilets
  • Exhibition
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

DIRLETON CASTLE & GARDENS

Dirleton Castle is a medieval fortress in the village of Dirleton, East Lothian, Scotland. The oldest parts of the castle date to the 13th century, and it was abandoned by the end of the 17th century. A romantic castle often in the forefront of Scottish history since it was built in the 12th century. The renowned gardens, added in the 16th century, include an Arts and Crafts herbaceous border and Victorian garden.
In Dirleton village 3m W of North Berwick on the A198. Tel: 01620 850330.
Open all year.

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Shop
  • Exhibition
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

DUMBARTON CASTLE

Dumbarton Castle has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland. Site of the ancient capital of Strathclyde, Mary Queen of Scots sailed to France from here as a child in 1548. The castle is spectacularly sited on a plug of volcanic basalt known as Dumbarton Rock which is 240 feet high overlooking the River Clyde. Displays in Governor's House.
In Dumbarton on the A82. Tel: 01389 732167
Open all year (Winter: closed Thurs. afternoons and Fri.)

  • Car Park
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Exhibition
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 


 

HERMITAGE CASTLE

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Hermitage Castle is a semi-ruined castle in the border region of Scotland. It is under the care of Historic Scotland. The castle has a reputation, both from its history and its appearance, as one of the most sinister and atmospheric in Scotland. A vast, eerie fortress at the heart of many of the bloodiest events in the history of the Borders. Mary Queen of Scots made her famous ride here to visit her future husband, the Earl of Bothwell.
5.5m NE of Newcastleton, B6399. Tel: 013873 76222
Open summer only.

  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Inspected and Commended by the Scottish Tourist Board  

 



 

 

 

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