The castles and fortresses are known to be monuments which protect in themselves the rich cultural pasts of the lands they belong to. Even in the face of ruins they stand upright. A prominent example of such romanticism is the Dunnottar Castle of Scotland which buries in its walls many stories of Scotland’s valour and richness.
Built on a cliff, upon the North Sea, the remains of the Dunnottar Castle grace the north east coast of Scotland at a distance of 3 kilometres from Stonehaven. The part of the castle that stands today is known to be dating back to the 15th or 16th centuries. However, as per history the actual fortification of the castle had started in the earlier half of the middle ages.
Covering an area of 1.4 hectares, the Dunnottar Castle has been important to the Scots both because of its impregnable nature and also because of its location. As it stands just 50 metres above the North Sea, it helped to keep an eye on the coast as well as the Mounth hills. The Dunnottar Castle plays an important role in the history of Scotland as it helped in housing a small army which kept Oliver Cromwell’s army from invading the crown jewels of Scotland and also the Honours of Scotland in the 17th century.
There is yet another famous period in the history of the Dunnottar Castle where a number of covenanters, who did not agree to take the King as the supreme power in terms of spiritual matters, were imprisoned in the year 1685. This, so called black period, is also known as the time of the “Whig’s Vault”.
Thereafter, the Dunnottar Castle went to the family of Earls Marischals who were the most influential and powerful family of the time. It was because the last Earl of the family joined the Jacobite risings of 1715 that the castle was bought by the York Buildings Company and then to various other parties till the 20th century. By this time much of the Dunnottar Castle was dismantled and went in to ruins. It was in 1925 that the 1st Viscountess Cowdray did some repairs to the castle and finally opened it for the public. Ever since, the Dunnottar Castle has been a favourite amongst tourists visiting Scotland. In 2009, an estimated 52,500 people visited the spectacular castle.
In all this while, a number of famous personalities, both historic and current day, have paid their visit to the Dunnottar Castle. Prominent amongst them are William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II.
If you plan to visit the Dunnottar Castle in the coming times, keep in mind to check the weather conditions of the area and also the fact that though the castle is open for public viewing throughout the year, there are strict opening and closing times every day. The entry is by means of tickets and can be approached by the footpath after parking the car in the Castle parking.