Lochleven Castle | Kinross House Estate
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Lochleven Castle

Steeped in History

Kinross House Estate stretches over 4000 acres of woodland, beautifully landscaped gardens and extends to Loch Leven on which stands the private Loch Leven Castle Island, famous for being the island where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in the 1560s. There is an abundance of options to host sporting activities either on the Estate or further afield, or to enjoy sightseeing around many famous Scottish landmarks.

Quotation Mark

If all stately homes were designed around a medieval castle in the middle of an island, the world would be a far more intriguing place 

Tatler Travel Guide

Island Stronghold

The island was much smaller in the days before the loch was partially drained in 1836. When Mary was a prisoner, Lochleven was just the walled castle enclosure and its little garden to the north.

Blind Harry, writing in the 1470s, told of Sir William Wallace capturing the castle around 1300, killing all 30 “Inglismen” he found there. There’s no real evidence to support this fanciful account. But we do know that in 1333, after the Halidon Hill defeat, Lochleven was one of only five castles holding out against the English.

Tower house – and prison

The tall tower house that dominates the castle ruins is one of Scotland’s oldest, built in the 1300s. Its original entrance (later closed) is 5m above ground level, giving direct access to the lord’s hall on the second floor. A fear of flooding may have led to this unusual layout.

Inside, the kitchen and service areas are on the bottom two floors, with the living space above.

During Mary’s time here, the floor above the hall served as her prison. A window was converted into a tiny oratory (chapel) for her private use. The top floor, which housed the queen’s doctor, is where Mary disguised herself before she fled.


Exclusive Use of Kinross House

The Estate offers exclusive hire of Kinross House and The Coach House.

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