With its roots in the 13th century, Blair Castle’s history extends over some 740 years. At the gateway to the Grampian Mountains on the route north to Inverness, the location was highly strategic.
The Castle is said to have been started in 1269 by John I Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, a northern neighbour of the Earl of Atholl, who started building on the Earl's land while he was away on crusade. Upon his return, the Earl complained about the interloper to King Alexander III, won back his land and incorporated the tower that had been built into his own Castle.
It commands a strategic position on the main route through the Central Scottish Highlands. Lowland Clan Agnew held Blair Castle, seat of the Duke of Atholl, against the Jacobites who laid siege to the castle during the Jacobite uprising of 1745-1746. They were besieged to near starvation until the Jacobite forces withdrew to fight the British Government forces at the Battle of Culloden.
Blair Castle is one of the most accessible Scottish castles, with a variety of tours available for individuals, families and groups, including special themed castle tours which show off specific elements of the castle and its history.
Blair Castle stands in its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire. It is the home of the Clan Murray family, who hold the title of Duke of Atholl..
Its many rooms feature important collections of weapons, hunting trophies, souvenirs of the Murray clan, ethnographica, paintings, furniture, needlework etc, collected by the Murray family over many generations.
The castle also provides the garrison for the Atholl Highlanders, the private army of the Duke of Atholl, noted as the only legal private army in Europe.