Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran, Scotland

Brodick Castle, Arran

Where is Brodick Castle
On the Isle of Arran, a mile outside the main town, Brodick is a red sandstone castle
It is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland
The castle is open daily from mid-April to the end of September

History of Brodick Castle
Arran commanded the approaches to the Firth of Clyde, so it was important to hold Arran, and hence control most of the south of Scotland. Therefore there has been a fortress here since the fifth century, when an ancient Irish tribe came over and founded the kingdom of Dalriada.There was a Viking fort here. The name Brodick comes from the Norse words, meaning 'broad bay'. Arran means 'peaked island' in Gaelic.

The present castle dates from the 13th century, with major alterations in  1544, 1588, 1652 and 1844 by the Dukes of Hamilton who owned it from 1503 , when the castle and the Earldom of Arran were granted to Lord Hamilton by his cousin  James IV.

Cromwellian soldiers occupied the castle in 1648 during the Civil War, executing the first Duke. The second Duke fared no better, being killed in battle three years later.

The most important was the alteration doubling in size of the castle in 1844 by the 10th Duke of Hamilton and his wife, Princess Marie of Baden. The high tower and magnificent Victorian rooms were designed by James Gillespie Graham,

The castle eventually passed into the hands of  the daughter of the 12th Duke of Hamilton. Mary, Duchess of Montrose  who restored the gardens. Since her death in 1957 it has been owned by the National Trust for Scotland

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