Doune Castle - Scotland by Misterzeee
Via Flickr:
Doune Castle is a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. The castle is sited on a wooded bend where the Ardoch Burn flows into the River Teith. It lies 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Stirling, where the Teith flows into the River Forth. Upstream, 8 miles (13 km) further north-west, the town of Callander lies at the edge of the Trossachs, on the fringe of the Scottish Highlands. Recent research has shown that Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c.1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scotland, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert’s stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and the whole castle was traditionally thought of as the result of a single period of construction at this time. The castle passed to the crown in 1425, when Albany’s son was executed, and was used as a royal hunting lodge and dower house. In the later 16th century, Doune became the property of the Earls of Moray. The castle saw military action during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and Glencairn’s rising in the mid-17th century, and during the Jacobite Risings of the late 17th century and 18th century. By 1800 the castle was ruined, but restoration works were carried out in the 1880s, prior to its passing into state care in the 20th century. It is now maintained by Historic Scotland. Of course in Outlander Castle Leoch is the seat of Clan MacKenzie. Jacob MacKenzie seized the castle in 1690 from Donald MacKenzie, who was absent from the castle at the time, the castle is more popular than ever with tourists due to it’s connection. 

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