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Pictures of Doune Castle

a Castle in the town of Doune, in the county of Stirlingshire

About Doune Castle

Doune Castle is one of Scotland's premier medieval buildings. It was built in the 14th century by Robert Stuart, Ist Duke of Albany and younger son of King Robert II. Later, owing to his elder brother Robert III being declared unfit to rule, the Duke of Albany took over the mantle of responsibility governing Scotland for almost thirty years. Thus, Doune has always been known as a Royal castle and indeed, throughout the ages it has been used by Scottish kings and queens.

The stout walls of Doune have been privy to Royal visitors for hundreds of years. It became a popular Royal retreat used by King James I to James VI. The castle also provided a home for the wife of James II and James III, later is was to be used by Sir James Stuart who became keeper of the castle in the 16th century. In 1570, Sir James became Lord Doune.

Doune Castle has its place in the story of the Jacobite Uprising of the 18th century when it was used to hold prisoners. Perhaps its most famous prisoner was the Rev.John Witherspoon who was taken there following the Battle of Falkirk in 1746. He later sailed for America where he became president of Princeton college and one of the architects of the Declaration of Independence.

The castle stands on ground on which it is believed an earlier castle may have stood. It looks out over the picturesque village of Doune with stunning views in all directions, its grounds are perfect for picnics or for simply strolling and absorbing the castle's strong historic atmosphere. For centuries it lay almost in ruins, but today it is much restored and visitors are able to wander around its fabled walls and see some of the rooms which have been furnished to look as they would when used by Scottish royalty, particularly the Great Hall. Other things to see include an impressive kitchen, magnificent original fireplaces and a superb vaulted ceiling. In the courtyard there is a deep well and in the basement visitors can enjoy an exhibition recounting Doune's history.

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