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Crathes Castle Visitor Guide

Crathes L plan tower-house, today owned by the National Trust for Scotland.

Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills and set within its own glorious gardens, Crathes Castle is every inch the classic Scottish tower house.

Explore this magnificent 16th-century tower house, with its intricate maze of turrets, towers, oak panels and painted ceilings, the tower room and the great hall.

The Stables and Farm Buildings lie to the north-east of the Castle and were probably built in the early 19th century, There are two Ice Houses.

The East Lodge is a 'picturesque cottage' probably built in the 19th century at the same time as the West Lodge, to the east of the East Lodge is a Bridge, over the Burn of Coy.

The Keeper's Cottage and Kennels are also 19th century.

  • Crathes Castle Postcode AB31 5QJ
  • Crathes Castle Geolocation Latitude 57.0616° N Longitude -2.4399° W
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Crathes is the ancestral home of the Burnetts of Leys, work begun on the house in l553 and finished in l596, the later date appears to commemorate a remodelling of the upper parts by the Bells, a famous Aberdeenshire family of masons.

Here you will find the Horn of Leys, given to the Burnett family in the 14th century by Robert the Bruce.

You will find paintings of the family by Jameson, the father of Scottish portrait painting, one of these painting is of Bishop Burnet, author of A History of my own Times. to

On the second and third floors are bedrooms with ceilings that are a blaze of colour. In 1877 these wonderful ceilings have been uncovered, after over a century under lath and plaster.

The Chamber of the Muses and the Nine Worthics’ Room on the second floor and the Green Lady’s Room on the third had each been decorated by Jacobean artists on the same principle, with some fine antique furniture.

On the boards between the joists are gaily painted symbolic figures with the sides of the joists themselves having been inscribed with wise saws and descriptive jingles explaining the pictures and delivering little homilies in the manner beloved of James Vl and his contemporaries.

At the top of the house is the Long Gallery running across the whole breadth of the building, from East to West has an ceiling, delicately carved with heraldic shields

form the centre pieces of fine panelling, with the three-storey east wing being added in the early 18th century, and additions dated from 1894.

 The walled garden is a wonderful jungle of history, split into eight sections that encompass every green delight imaginable a sculpted topiary, soft herbaceous colours and modern exotic blooms, with its magnificent early 18th century formal garden

and the massive ancient yew hedges are thought to have been planted as early as 1702.

Spot a rich variety of wildlife along the six waymarked trails, including roe deer, red squirrels, the gardens and grounds are open throughout the year.

Opening times vary seasonally. The Castle is situated off the A93 about 5 miles east of Bancory and 15 miles west of Aberdeen, It lies on the northern bank of the River Dee in the gentle rolling landscape of the Aberdeenshire plain on the eastern edge of the Grampian foothills.

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