Loch Leven Castle is a ruined medieval fortress on an island in Loch Leven which replaced earlier structures said to have been constructed by Congal, King of the Picts. When the waters of the loch were higher, prior to be deliberately lowered in 1830, the outer walls of Loch Leven Castle encompassed nearly the entire land mass. The first medieval buildings were probably constructed around 1257 as a prison for Alexander III, the 16 year old King of Scotland. For the next 300 years it would a prison for many other notable people. During the First War of Scottish Independence it saw battle as it was contested by both Scottish and English forces. It was strengthened by the English and officially named Loch Leven Castle. However, records suggest it was recaptured by William Wallace (Braveheart) around 1295.
English soldiers besieged the castle in 1335 and tried to flood out the defenders by damming the outflow of the Loch. After the war the castle was reinforced by the inclusion of a five-storey tower house. During the 14th century the castle was used as a national prison. Famous prisoners included King, Robert II, Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, Thomas Percy, 7th earl of Northumberland and Patrick Graham, the Archbishop of St Andrews – who later died on the neighbouring island of St. Serf. The most famous prisoner was Mary, Queen of Scots who was interned at Loch Leven Castle in 1567. While incarcerated she was forced to abdicate the crown in favour of her son James. Mary eventually persuade one of her gaolers, George Douglas, to help her escape in 1568. Legend has it that her spirit haunts the castle furious at the place where she renounced her claim to Scotland’s throne and crown.
In 1675, the castle passed into the ownership of Sir William Bruce. By the 18th century Loch Leven Castle had deteriorated into ruin. It was taken over by the state in 1938 and is managed by Historic Scotland. It has been granted Scheduled Ancient Monument status.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Scone Palace Caravan Park, Stormontfield Road, Scone
Tayside, Scotland, PH2 6BB
+44 (0)1738 552 323
- Address: Pier Road, Kinross, Kinross-shire, Scotland, United Kingdom, KY13 8UF
- GPS: 56.20080278,-3.391669444
- Phone: 0044 (0)1577 862 670
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: KY13 8UF
- Visibility from Road: Poor