Where is Blair Castle
At Blair Atholl, on Tayside, 8 miles from Pitlochry. Situated in the
wide Strath of Garry, it commands a strategic position on the main route
through the Central Scottish Highlands.
Open to the public, April to October daily
History of Blair Castle
In 1269, while the Earl of Atholl was away in England for an extended
period, a neighbour, John Comyn, started to build a castle on the Earl's
land. Atholl complained to King Alexander III, got his land back, and
incorporated the usurping tower into his own castle. It is still there,
called Comyn's Tower.
It has been occupied by attackers on four occasions,
including being taken by the Cromwellians during the English Civil War.
During the 1745 Jacobite revolt, Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at Blair
Castle on his way south after landing at Glenfinnan. Inevitably the
English army occupied the castle in 1746 as the Jacobite revolt came
to its sad conclusion. The Jacobites under Lord George Murray, lay siege
to Blair in what is believed to be the last castle siege in Britain.
Blair has changed its architectural appearance over
the years. Much of what can be seen today dates from the 18th century,
and it has become a palace rather than a fortress.
Queen Victoria visited Blair in 1844. She was so captivated
by the 200 Athollmen who formed the royal bodyguard, that she presented
them with regimental colours. They are now the only private army in
Europe, and as the Atholl Highlanders are recruited mainly from the
Atholl estate, and exist today as a private ceremonial bodyguard