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Clan Seats of Scotland – Clan Balfour – Burleigh Castle – Scotcrest Blog

Burleigh Castle, Perth and Kinross – Clan Balfour

burleigh castle clan balfour

Unusually flanked on one side by a main road, Burleigh Castle is one of the most accessible clan seats in Scotland and the historic home of the Balfour family.

Believed to have been originally given to the Balfour family around the middle of the 15th century, the clan would first build a tower house which still forms the basis of the taller north tower. The castle would then be expanded further in 1582 when the more appealing south west tower was built and on its completion, the finished castle is believed to have surrounded a quadrangular courtyard.

The fortunes of the Balfour family would then improve in 1607, when Sir Michael Balfour was raised to the peerage becoming Lord Balfour of Burleigh. The family would enjoy their increased stature for the next 100 years until 1707 when Robert Balfour, son of the 4th Lord Balfour, was sentenced to death for murdering the Inverkiething schoolmaster as revenge for marrying the woman he had wished to marry

Even worse was to come for the family, however, as after coming out in favour of the Jacobite cause in 1715, Robert Balfour would have his estates and titles seized by the government and was forced to live out his life in exile in France.

With its spiritual owner now no longer in the country, the castle was sold to the Irwin family before later passing to the Grahams of Kinross. The Burleigh would then fall into disrepair with parts of the structure that are now missing likely harvested for stone to build Burleigh House, a large farmhouse located near the castle. Since then , the castle has remained in a relatively similar state for the last 200 years and is now owned by Historic Environment Scotland where it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

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