Huntingtower Castle, Perth, Scotland

Huntingtower from north

It’s a couple of months since we went to visit Huntingtower Castle near Perth and I had forgotten that I hadn’t blogged about it until Joan of Planet Joan mentioned that she had just finished reading John Buchan’s book Huntingtower. I read it a while ago and you can read what I thought of it here. You can read Joan’s thoughts on Huntingtower here.

Actually I’m not at all sure now if it is the same Huntingtower as the book was set mainly in the south west of Scotland, but I imagined they moved the action here, I can’t see anything linking this place to the book though.

Huntingtower from south

Parts of the tower have windows and other bits are quite open to the elements. Below is a doorway which still has some of the original painted decoration around it, I think it’s quite modern looking.

Hall close; painted door lintel


And what do you think of the painted ceiling? A few of the rooms had designs like this painted on the roof beams. This ceiling dates from around 1540.

painted ceiling 1

Below is a vaulted ceiling on the top floor.

ceiling +

Can you see the rabbit painted on this wall? It has been covered with thick perspex to protect it from the weather.

painted rabbit

Below you can see the holes where the wooden beams of the floor/ceiling were originally.

upper windows

Most Scottish castles/tower houses seem to have these cute wee window seats, they must have been lovely to sit in in the summer anyway, a perfect spot for reading or sewing. You have to imagine the rooms would have been hung with tapestries and cushions or fur would have been on the seats.

window seat

There are loads of spiral staircases to investigate in Huntingtower and one of them leads up to this part of the roof.

a view from roof 3

Although there’s now a shopping centre very close to Huntingtower most of the surrounding countryside is still farmland, so not too different from how it would have been when John Buchan set part of his book Huntingtower here.

a view from Huntingtower roof in Perth, Scotland

a view from roof 2

The castle is now home to a large colony of pipistrelle bats, but we didn’t see any evidence of them, it was too early for them to be out and about.

Mary Queen of Scots lived here for a while with her husband Lord Darnley, she seems to have been in just about every castle in Scotland, often as a prisoner. She was a woman who should have copied her cousin Elizabeth of England’s style and stayed well away from marriage!

10 thoughts on “Huntingtower Castle, Perth, Scotland

  1. I very much enjoyed the photos of your visit to this castle. It reminds me so much of a castle that Ken and I visited in the Yorkshire Dales in May 1986, a couple of months after we married. We were touring about, and I have a definite, lovely recollection of having a luncheon in the courtyard of this medieval castle. I do love castles, especially the shuddering at the thought of how chilly and damp they must have been, especially during storms. Oh, begone chilblains!

    • Judith,
      I’ve been to so many castles recently I have quite a job to remember which is which when I look back at the photos. The north of England is even more well endowed with castles, they were necessary with all that Border mayhem I suppose! They can’t ever have been really warm.

  2. Great post – making me want to visit this castle and read John Buchan’s book!

    Now, if Mary had followed Elizabeth’s example we would never have had the Stuart Monarchs – would that have been a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing? As far as I remember my school history there were several possible successors to the throne of England, but I don’t know about the Scottish throne! And would Scotland and England ever have been united? There’s a thought …

    • Margaret,
      It would certainly have been different. Lord Darnley (Henry Stuart) would have been next in line as his mother or g.mother was a Tudor, Tudors and Stuarts seemed to inter marry quite a lot. He was third in line to the English throne I think, that was why Mary wanted to marry him. But Darnley was a Catholic so the English ‘nobles’ wouldn’t have wanted him as king when Elizabeth died, had he not married Mary Stuart and so not been murdered. We wouldn’t have had a union I’m sure, the English ‘nobles’ would have fought it out between themselves. Interesting thought!

  3. I got a real sense of the place from your photographs, Katrina. It seems full of atmosphere. The ceilings are wonderful. The rabbit (might it be a hare?) brings the castle to life: thinking about who painted it and why got me thinking about those who lived there in past centuries. And I want those window seats!

    • Sandra,
      They are calling it a rabbit but it could be a hare, it is quite chunky looking. Although it’s mainly a ruin you can easily imagine how it must have been in its heyday.

  4. What a fascinating place! It always amazes me how detailed and cleverly built those old places are. I love the rabbit and the window seats. I don’t think I would join you on the roof, though!

    • Joan,
      I always hang on to whatever railing or wall is up on this type of roof, especially as it’s nearly always windy. I still feel a wee bit nervous though, especially at the thought of the long trek back down the spiral stone stairs, always more scary than going up!

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