UK Travel Guide


Crathes Castle

Description: King Robert the Bruce granted the lands of Leys to the Burnett family in 1323. The ancient jewelled ivory Horn of Leys, which can be seen today in the Great Hall, was presented by Bruce to the family as a symbol of his gift. Crathes Castle is one of the finest surviving castles in Scotland, it is a massive 16th-century tower house, square in plan. The upper storeys are adorned with much corbelling, turrets, and decoration, while the lower storeys are very plain apart from a large modern window. There is a small extension, and a large adjoining mansion has been demolished. The original castle is in the now drained Loch of Leys. Around 1553, the family began to build the new castle at Crathes, but it was not completed until 1596. One of the chambers, the Green Lady's room, is said to be haunted. The ghost reportedly first appeared in the 18th century, and is seen crossing the chamber, with a baby in her arms, to disappear at the fireplace. The young woman seems to have been a daughter of the then laird, and had been dallying with a servant. It appears that she was murdered to hide her pregnancy. A skeleton of a baby was reportedly found by workmen under the hearthstone. The spectre is said to have been seen many times.
Time Line: Coming Soon
Notes: The castle is now owned by the National Trust of Scotland. It is open daily 1 April - 31 October 11am - 5.30pm. Admission is by timed ticket and only a limited number of tickets are available each day (to prevent overcrowding of visitors in the castle). The telephone number is 01330 844 525.