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Clan Seats of Scotland – Edzell Castle – Clan Lindsay – Scotcrest Blog

Edzell Castle, Angus – Clan Lindsayedzell castle clan lindsay

The now ruinous Edzell castle was once the grand home of the Scottish Lindsay clan and still features a beautiful walled garden.

First coming under the control of the Lindsays in 1357, Edzell was originally a ‘motte and bailey’ style castle; a small keep located on top of a large grassy mound, however, the Lindsay family would eventually move 300 metres to the north-east and it is here that the current structure stands today.

This move would occur at the beginning of the 16th century, meaning that while the current castle stands in another location, the mound upon which the original Edzell Castle stood is still visible today. The Lindsays would then enjoy a relatively quiet period in control of the area until it received a visit from Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1562 when she held a privy council meeting in the castle before staying there. Edzell would then enjoy further royal visits in 1580 and 1589 as James VI visited on two occasions.

Despite enjoying relative peace up until this point, the castle would then become involved in conflict after it was used to garrison the troops of Oliver Cromwell during his invasion if Scotland during the 1640s. The Lindsays would side with Cromwell during this conflict and John Lindsay would be captured at the castle by the opposing Royalist forces in 1653 before being rescued by his allies.

The family would then continue to control Edzell Castle until the year 1715, when they were forced to sell it in an attempt to pay off huge debts. It would pass to the Maule Earl of Panmure, although he only held the castle briefly as he was forced to forfeit his estates due to his part in the Jacobite Rising of 1715 and it was once again given to government forces as a place to garrison troops.

Abandoned soon after the rising, Edzell would eventually find its way into the hands of the Earl of Dalhousie, who would construct a cottage on the site for use by the castle’s caretaker. Today, this building acts as a visitor centre and both the castle and gardens are maintained by Historic Environment Scotland as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The site can be visited by the general public all year round.