Doune Castle lies south-east of Doune village on a promontory between the River Teith and the Ardoch Burn. It was built in the late 14th century for Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland from 1396-1420. The castle reflects the importance of its owner and the large hall and kitchen are testimony to the level of entertaining that a man in his position would have had to provide. The castle is an irregular quadrangle enclosure with a substantial gate-tower connected by a lower range to the kitchen tower and a curtain wall around the other sides. The gate-tower is the strongest point of the castle with the entrance passage protected by gates and arrow slits in the walls. Above the entrance is the lord's hall which is reached by a protected staircase from inside the courtyard.
On the death of Robert Stewart in 1420 the castle was inherited by his son Murdoch, but he was executed by James I in 1425 and Doune was taken over by the Crown. The castle was used as a country retreat and hunting lodge by the royal family. It also served, in the late 15th century, as a dower house for some of the queens of Scotland. In 1570, the keeper of Doune Castle, Sir James Stewart, was given the title Lord Doune. He died in 1590 and was succeeded by his eldest son who gained, through marriage, the title of Earl of Moray. The castle has remained in the hands of the Earls of Moray ever since.
Doune was garrisoned by government troops during the Jacobite risings of 1689 and 1715. It was taken by the Jacobites in 1745 and used as a prison. By the end of the 18th century it was roofless and falling into ruin. In 1883 the 14th Earl of Moray carried out a restoration, and further repairs have been made more recently
- In Doune off the A820
- Castle Road, Doune, Stirling, FK16 6EA
- Historic Scotland. Open to the public. Entrance fee
- For further information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
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