Castles in Dundee

Dundee Castles - Best castles in Dundee

Blessed with one of the best locations in Scotland, Dundee sits on the northern shore of the Firth of Tay and is easily accessible from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. It gets some of the highest sunshine hours of any Scottish city – although it still sees lots of rain too.

The city is a UNESCO City of Design and has several excellent museums and galleries, as well as great restaurants and bars. However, it’s not just the here and now that makes Dundee so exciting; it has a rich history and past too.

In this post, we’ll be delving into that and looking at four of the most interesting and important castles in Dundee. 

4 Castles to visit in Dundee

1. Broughty Castle

Overlooking the Tay Estuary, Broughty Castle lies around four miles from the centre of Dundee in the suburb of Broughty Ferry. First completed in 1496, this picturesque coastal fort was rebuilt in the 19th century as part of the coastal defence system of the River Tay.

It has seen many battles and sieges over the year, including the Siege of Broughty Castle from 1547 – 1550. This was a part of the Anglo-Scottish Wars from 1547-1550, resulting in a Scottish victory. There’s a fascinating free museum on-site, where you can enjoy views of Broughty Beach and learn about the castle’s history.

Where: Broughty Ferry
When: 15th century
Style: Coastal Fort
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 16:00 from Monday to Saturday. 12:30 – 16:00 on Sundays. Closed on Mondays from October to March.

2. Claypotts Castle

Another of the most interesting castles in Dundee is also located in Broughty Ferry. Claypotts Castle is one of the best-preserved 16th century Z-plan tower houses in Scotland.

The unusually shaped building is made up of a main rectangular block, a garret, and two large round towers at opposite corners of the building. As is the way with many Scottish castles, there is said to be a resident ghost; Claypotts Castle is supposedly haunted by the White Lady, who often appears at a window on the 29th May each year.

This figure is said to be Marion Ogilvie, who was murdered in 1546. However, since Claypotts wasn’t built until sometime after 1569, that seems unlikely. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where: Broughty Ferry
When: 16th century
Style: Late Medieval Z-Plan Tower House
Open for Visit: Yes. Open 24 hours.

3. Dundee Castle

Dundee Castle has a short but chequered history and was captured a number of times by the English in the early 14th century. The original castle is thought to have been built in the late 12th century, but there are few records to rely on.

What is certain is that the castle was surrendered to the English in 1296, before being besieged a year later by William Wallace, who then went on to fight in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Although there’s no castle to physically visit, the foundations of the castle were found in 2018 in the appropriately named Castle Street in the city centre.

Where: Dundee
When: 12th century
Open for Visit: No. It doesn’t exist anymore!

4. Mains Castle

Previously known as Fintry Castle and Claverhouse Castle, Mains Castle is in the northern city suburb of Caird Park and overlooks the Dichty Valley and the Gelly Burn stream. It’s made up of a six-story square tower house and some buildings that surround a courtyard.

Nowadays, the castle is a popular wedding venue and events space. The castle dates to 1562 and more buildings were added in the 17th century. After being a derelict ruin for many years, it was restored in the 1980s. Many stories claim Mains Castle is haunted.

Where: Dundee
When: 16th century
Style: Square Tower House
Open for Visit: Mains Castle is open for weddings and events. Find out more on their website below.
Website: https://www.mainscastle.co.uk/

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