Airthrey Castle, Stirling – Clan Haldane
Once home to the historic Scottish Haldane Clan, Airthrey Castle now sits within the grounds of the illustrious Stirling University.
Occupied by a series of clans, the land on which the castle nows sits would finally fall under the ownership of the Haldanes in 1759. It would first be purchased by Captain Robert Haldane, an extremely wealthy man who often sat in Parliament. Often arrogant, he would completely transform the area as he would construct a new road, gating it off from the main public route. He would be replaced by his great-nephew, Robert Haldane, in 1768 – who would build the castle we know today.
Costing almost £4000, the mansion would also include 363 acres of landscaped grounds. Unfortunately though, after committing so much money and time to the project, Haldane would instead turn to missionary work and, after attempting to spend a small fortune on a mission to India, he would build numerous churches and seminaries in Scotland, selling the property to the Abercromby family in 1798.
Following the sale, Sir Robert Abercromby would expand the castle further, discovering an ancient whale’s skeleton as he excavated the grounds. He would gift the skeleton to the Natural History Museum at the University of Edinburgh (where it would remain for many years) before the renovated castle would host Queen Victoria during her stay in Scotland in 1842.
Bought by Donald Graham in 1889, the castle would be further extended before it served as a maternity hospital during World War II. It currently sits within the grounds of Stirling University and, although it recently suffered a fire, it has been restored by the University who are proud to have it under their possession.