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Castle Grant, Grantown-on-Spey Scotland

Castle Grant Scotland

The Grants of Grant descended through twenty-five generations from Sir Laurence Le Grant, who was Sheriff of Inverness in 1258. In the time of Robert the Bruce the Grants acquired the lands of Inverallan in Strathspey where for a time they lived in a mansion house to the south-east of Castle Grant.

The castle dates from the early 15th Century but was altered to face the other way and had wings built on to the south at a later date. It is austere, and was described by Queen Victoria in her "Journal" as "a very plain looking house, like a factory". The oldest portion of the building is the tower which bears the name "Barbie's Tower", after an unknown chatelaine by the name of Barbara who is said to have refused to marry the man her father proposed for her and was consequently locked up in a cupboard known as the "blackness". However, no skeleton was found when the cupboard was opened in 1880. There are other legends apart from that of Barbara. There was the piper who swore he could march and pipe all the way from Inverness and then three times round the castle without a rest. Apparently he failed of his boast, as his heart gave out on the third circuit of the castle. Then there is the story of a champion boatman, who travelled to London and proved himself the fastest boatman on the Thames.

The castle has always belonged to the Grants, except for a short while in 1747 when the Jacobites occupied it while Sir Ludovick Grant was away. The castle today is not complete, as parts of the building have been destroyed by fire. The eighth Earl, who died in 1885, left the estates to his mother and it was she who planted the extensive woods surrounding the territory. In 1911 she died, leaving the estates in trust, ultimately to revert to the Earls of Seafield. The present Earl inherited the castle in 1969 from Nina, daughter of the eleventh Earl, James Ogilvie Grant, who was killed in action in 1915. In 2006 the castle was acquired by Scottish entrepreneur Craig Whyte and a major refurbishment project was completed in 2008. The castle is now a private home.

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