Scottish Castles Photo Library
- Loch Leven Castle, Kinross

Loch Leven Castle

Placed strategically between Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth, the invading English built a fortress there at the end of the 13th century. Blind Harry's story of William Wallace suggests he may have captured it and it was certainly in Scottish hands when Robert the Bruce came to the castle in 1313 and again in 1323. After the death of King Robert, the English attempted another invasion and at one stage Loch Leven was one of only five castles in Scotland which the invaders failed to capture.

Robert Stewart, later to become King Robert II, the first of the Royal House of Stewart, was imprisoned by King David II in the castle for a spell in 1369, as the complicated politics of the age unfolded. King Robert II later granted the castle to Sir Henry Douglas and the Douglases held the castle up to the 17th century.

Mary Queen of Scots was taken as a prisoner to Loch Leven in 1567, after her disastrous marriage to the Earl of Bothwell led to her downfall. Within a month of her arrival, she miscarried twins, the result of her tempestuous relationship with Bothwell. She escaped after a year on the island but was defeated at the Battle of Langside.

The castle is relatively small, consisting mainly of an outer curtain wall, the tower house and another smaller tower called the "Glassin Tower". There are attractive views across the loch to the Lomond Hills.

See also Places to Visit -Loch Leven Castle for more information and illustrations.

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or go to the next castle: Lochmaben CastleLochmaben Castle

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